The Turkish and French presidents exchange letters in which they agree to resume talks aimed at restoring ties.
The Turkish and French presidents exchanged letters agreeing to resume talks aimed at restoring ties.
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote a New Year’s message to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, expressing his condolences for several attacks in France last year, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday as quoted by local media.
Macron returned a “very positive” letter this week, starting with the greeting “Dear Tayyip” and saying he was open to a meeting, Cavusoglu said.
“President Macron expresses the importance of Turkey for Europe and his willingness to develop positive relations with Turkey as well as to meet our president in the coming period,” Cavusoglu said.
Macron’s response proposed collaboration on “bilateral consultations, terrorism, regional issues such as Syria and Libya, and a partnership on education,” according to the Turkish official.
The French presidency confirmed the exchange of letters without providing details.
“We now need tangible gestures” from Ankara, the French presidency said.
The European Union is currently developing an expanded list of Turkish individuals to sanction Ankara’s decision to drill for natural gas in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean near Cyprus.
Over the past year, Ankara and Paris clashed over a host of international issues, including conflicts in Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Diplomatic tensions were accompanied by a bitter personal feud between the two men.
In a meeting with EU leaders, Macron remarked that the Turks “deserve something else” than Erdogan’s policies.
In October, Macron declared Islam a religion “in crisis” in the world, triggering a harsh response in the Muslim world, which called for a boycott of French products.
Erdogan joined the call and said, on two occasions, that Macron needed a mental health checkup.
He also accused Macron of “Islamaphobia” and urged French voters to “get rid of Macron as soon as possible”.