Turkish expert:

Dialogue necessary for Iran, Turkey

News ID: 4073989 -
TEHRAN, Sep. 01 (MNA) – Hazar Vural says although Turkey is a NATO member state, Iran and Turkey need to create their own talks to tackle common threats.

After unprecedent talks in Ankara between the chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces and Turkish leaders, there were some reports on joint military operation against threatening terrorist groups by Iran and Turkey.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has denied the claim by some Turkish officials that the two countries were planning to conduct joint military operations against Kurdish rebel groups beyond the country’s borders.

On August 22, IRGC in a statement announced, “we have not planned any operations across the borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. But as always we will strongly confront any group, team, or person who wants to penetrate into Iran's territory for anti-security or terrorist operations.”

Payman Yazdani from Mehr News agency sought the issue with Turkish -Iranian relation expert from Istanbul Yıldız Technical University, Dr. Hazar Vural.

Commenting on the necessity of Iran and Turkey cooperation as two key players in the region, Hazar Vural said, “Turkey and Iran belong to this region as important actors, while so many transformations are coming into being, including Iraq invasion in 2003, Arab Movements or as some countries says ‘Arab Spring’ which started at the end of 2010 and now new developments are on the agenda. The regional neighbors Turkey and Iran are aware of the dangers threatening their territorial security and survival case. PKK and PJAK terrorists have been posing the same threats during the last years. And now both country face a new security concern which is possible independence referendum of Iraqi Kurdish region.”

Referring to the importance of Russia’s role in creating balance in the region and criticizing the US for arming YPG, she noted, “Russia’s return to equation, balance between the US and Russia which is the key for the region. Because unfortunately the Middle East is a region for the global hegemons not just the local or regional powers. USA armed YPG, of which even Turkey is against. And the region is suitable for the terrorists’ mobility.

In view of the message signaled by Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff, General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri’s visit to Ankara and security cooperation between Iran and Turkey, she noted, “many actors voiced concern when the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a speech on Iran-Turkey “possible common operation against the terrorists”. For the first time in the history, chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri visited Turkey, which means a lot for the neighbors. The visit was an important and constructive event for both neighbors. As the both sides explained, the issues are obvious. The visit is about the regional developments, common border security and terrorism. But this meeting was twisted differently by some countries. But at such a time, it is normal to see tactical and strategic movements. On the other hand, Iranian Revolutionary Guards made an explanation about this visit and rejected the joint military operation claim of Turkey and Iran. On the other hand, Iranian officials evaluated the visit as positive for both country.”

She referred to the possible effects of regional cooperation between Ankara and Tehran and some differences between two sides added, “previously, Iranian authorities always criticized Turkey’s relations or position towards Iraq Kurdish Administration. Also, Iran and Turkey hold different approaches to Syrian issue. In addition, Turkey’s decision to build a “security wall” on its border with Iran, which is something about the border security against terrorism and smugglers and which Iran is sensitive about and they need to be informed.

Iraq’s separation and possible Kurdish artificial state is something which Turkey and Iran are against. Because this situation will create a fertile place for the terrorist groups, increasing the instability and leading to new crises.”

Commenting about feasibility of military and security cooperation between Iran and Turkey, while Turkey is a member of the NATO and US ally, “balance is the key word for actual situation. Ankara and Tehran have to create a dialogue, for their own peace and security. Now they have no chance to be at the different sides or have blind confidence about their differences. Continuous dialogue, close coordination, logical and calm communication is vital. So the reciprocal visits needed more.”

Interview by Payman Yazdani

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