US President Joe Biden has congratulated his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his victory in the historic presidential runoff. “I look forward to continuing to work together as a NATO ally on bilateral issues and shared global challenges,” Biden said on Twitter on Sunday. He did not address the recent tensions in bilateral relations.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described Turkey as a “valued NATO ally and partner” on Twitter. He is looking forward to further cooperation “with the government elected by the Turkish people,” said Blinken. He also referred to the high turnout and the “long democratic tradition” in Turkey.
Stoltenberg looks forward to further cooperation
NATO and the European Union also congratulated Erdogan. “Congratulations on your re-election, President,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter on Sunday. He looks forward to continuing cooperation and preparing for the NATO summit in Vilnius in July, Stoltenberg added. Turkey blocked with Hungary Sweden’s accession to NATO. The issue is on the agenda for the summit.
Congratulations also came from EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel. They said they look forward to further developing EU-Turkey relations. It is of “strategic importance for both the EU and Turkey to work on expanding this relationship for the benefit of our peoples,” von der Leyen added.
Relations between Ankara and Brussels are difficult, but Turkey is an indispensable partner when it comes to migration. Turkey has EU candidate status, but accession talks have been on hold for several years.
In a letter to Erdogan, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU was ready to work with Turkey towards a constructive relationship “for our common prosperity and stability, based on commitments to human rights, the rule of law, international law and… of regional stability, in the interest of all our citizens”.
“We have to put this process to rest,” says Weber
The leader of the European People’s Party, Manfred Weber, spoke out in favor of ending the EU accession process with Turkey. “The last few years have shown that a close partnership is important, but that nobody wants full membership of Turkey in the EU anymore – neither Turkey nor the EU,” the CSU politician told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “We have to put this process aside because it blocks better relationships more than it supports it.”
The expectation after Erdogan’s election victory be clear, said Weber. “We need cooperation, especially when it comes to the goal of peace between Ukraine and Russia, migration policy, economic modernization and the Cyprus question. Erdogan should now immediately agree to Sweden’s membership in NATO.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated Erdogan on his re-election. Putin said Erdogan’s victory was “clear evidence” that the Turkish people support his efforts to “bolster state sovereignty and pursue an independent foreign policy.” Zelenskyy said he was counting on strengthening the partnership between his country and Turkey “for the security and stability of Europe”.
After the election victory, Chancellor Olaf Scholz paid tribute to Germany’s cooperation with Turkey. “Germany and Turkey are close partners and allies – we are also closely linked socially and economically,” wrote the SPD politician on Twitter. He also congratulated Erdogan on his re-election. “Now we want to push our common issues with renewed vigour,” said Scholz.
French President Emmanuel Macron also spoke on Twitter. “With President Erdogan, whom I congratulate on his re-election, we will continue to move forward,” Macron wrote. “France and Turkey have to overcome immense challenges together.” Macron mentioned the return of peace to Europe, the future of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance and the Mediterranean Sea as keywords.
“My dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” writes Qatar’s Emir
The militant Islamist Taliban were among the first to wish well on Sunday evening. Her head of government, Mullah Mohammed Hassan Achund, hopes for a continuation of “friendly relations” with Turkey, as reported by the Tolonews broadcaster. The Islamist group has been in power again since the summer of 2021, but has not been recognized internationally by any state as the legitimate government of Afghanistan since then.
Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also spoke up early on Sunday evening. “My dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan, congratulations on your victory,” the head of state wrote on Twitter. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban sent his congratulations just as early. In a tweet he wrote of an “undisputed election victory”.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi was quoted by the state news agency IRNA as saying that he was confident that relations between the two neighboring countries would be strengthened. Close cooperation will create better conditions for strengthening peace and stability in the region.