President Erdoğan speaks to journalists following G20 Leaders’ Summit

President Erdoğan speaks to journalists following G20 Leaders’ Summit

Regarding the terrorist attack on İstiklal Street, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, "We will not be discouraged by any provocation, with Allah's permission. No matter what it takes, we always take the necessary steps and will continue to do so. A remark such as 'This attack is related to the impending elections' is a component of the fear scenario that the terrorist organisation is attempting to propagate."

President Erdoğan answered Turkish journalists' questions and commented on current events in Bali, Indonesia, where he attended the G20 Leaders' Summit.

President Erdoğan remarked that their summit agenda was effectively fulfilled and thanked the Indonesian authorities for their cordial hospitality.

President Erdoğan stated that they had a meeting with President Joko Widodo of Indonesia before the summit with the presence of relevant ministers and that they had a comprehensive discussion with Widodo on all aspects of bilateral ties.

President Erdoğan noted that establishing the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council between Türkiye and Indonesia is a milestone in bilateral ties, adding, "We intend to maintain our momentum by convening our first council meeting in the near future. We decided to boost our efforts to accomplish our mutual target of $10 billion in trade volume."

President Erdoğan expressed his confidence that the five agreements signed in defence, technology, innovation, environment, forestry, and development cooperation will ease this process, remarking that they saw significant potential for cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the defence industry.

President Erdoğan highlighted that the G20 Bali Summit's theme is "Recover Stronger, Recover Together" and continued:

"Food and energy security were also prominent topics at the summit. The issue of food security was one of the main items on our agenda during our G20 presidency, which we undertook in 2015. The first meeting of energy ministers in the history of the G20 was also held during our presidency. The things that happened since the Antalya Summit has demonstrated the accuracy of the issues that our country brought to the agenda seven years ago. We witnessed that the steps we took as Türkiye in the areas of energy and health were appreciated in the sessions we participated in. We also witnessed that our initiatives, such as prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine as well as grain corridor, were welcomed by world leaders."

"The issue of refugees was included as a separate paragraph"

President Erdoğan pointed out that Türkiye also made significant contributions to the G20 Bali Declaration and underlined that Türkiye, which plays a mediating role with its ability to talk to all sides regarding the Russia-Ukraine crisis, has taken an active position in issuing a joint declaration.

President Erdoğan stated that the Black Sea Grain Initiative, implemented under the leadership of Türkiye, was welcomed by all G20 countries with reference to the Türkiye and İstanbul Agreement and pointed out that the need for cooperation on refugees is also included in the G20 Declaration as a separate paragraph.

President Erdoğan reminded that he also held bilateral meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the summit and said, "In these meetings, we addressed issues on our agenda, from defence to energy, from the fight against terrorism to investment, trade and tourism. I hope our visit will be auspicious for our country, our nation and all humanity."

"We will continue our relations"

Upon the question "At the beginning of the week, Ankara hosted a very important meeting. Under the coordination of Türkiye, the US and Russian intelligence chiefs met in Ankara. Which notes can you share with us about the role played by Türkiye in the realisation of this meeting and the expectations from this meeting?" President Erdoğan replied as follows: 

"Let me tell you this much; the information I received from the Director of Türkiye's National Intelligence Organisation about whether or not Russia and the US will resort to nuclear weapons is that both sides will not have any attempts related to nuclear weapons as of now. We want them to be in close contact and come together frequently. God forbid, this will lead to a new world war. Let's not give this a chance either."

Upon the question, "You had a meeting with US President Joe Biden here. We asked you, 'How was the problem resolved with the diplomacy process you initiated after Russia suspended the grain agreement?', You said, 'I will tell Biden first, then I will tell you.' Did you talk to President Biden about this? You know Russia has expectations, does the US give the necessary guarantees to export grain and fertiliser? You said, 'I will talk to Putin after I return from Indonesia.' Will you send a message from the US? How do you evaluate the possibility of a meeting between the leaders of the two countries? At what stage is the project of processing Russian grain in Türkiye for export and sending it to Africa from here? When will this start?" President Erdoğan noted the following:

"Of course, let's have a meeting first. After our meeting, the most important topic that Mr Putin told us was to send this grain free of charge to African countries such as Mali, Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia. We said, 'We also contribute to the free shipping of this grain. The poor and impoverished people of Africa are hungry, let's not leave them in such a situation.'"

"We already had such an agreement. Hopefully, this wheat will arrive, be processed into flour in our country, and then delivered in a way that will relieve them greatly. Biden, of course, first expressed his gratitude to us regarding these issues. 'Thank you for your role in this grain corridor.' he said. Related to the issue of F-16s, Biden stated that it is completely in his power, and he is sensitive about it. Our relations will continue concerning this matter. Since our Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers follow up this process very closely, I hope we will soon be able to resolve the F-16 issue." 

When the meeting President Erdoğan held with French President Emmanuel Macron within the framework of the G20 Summit was recalled and asked whether Macron's statement made before the summit claiming that "Türkiye assumes imperialist attitudes, especially in Africa," was brought to the agenda President Erdoğan noted:

"Talking about every issue, everywhere, diminishes the seriousness of that issue. I've just told him, 'Emmanuel, you're taunting me in some places, we've talked before. You said, 'The ladies get along just fine, but we don't get along.' 'No, no, we're getting along. We had good talks here today.' he said. 'Let it continue like this. Let's not allow any kind of trouble.' I said. We maintained the same situation regarding these issues. But as you know, one of our most important issues with France is the SAMP-T issue. At the meeting we had with the Italian Prime Minister on this issue, she said, 'There are some technical problems, let's solve the problem of France-Italy-Türkiye SAMP-T as soon as possible after coping with them.' It was our first meeting with the Prime Minister of Italy, yet it was a serious and resolute one. Our discussion on the defence industry, in particular, was fruitful. Besides, our discussion on energy was productive. We also had another productive discussion on Libya. We had an engaging conversation on migration. We said, ‘We look forward to your visit to Türkiye soon to discuss these issues. Let us continue these talks by discussing these issues with the relevant authorities in Türkiye.' And she took note of these points.”

"Energy will no longer be an issue for Türkiye"

Regarding his statement prior to his visit to Indonesia, "I will point out that Türkiye is also in a key position in resolving the current energy crisis," President Erdoğan was asked if a concrete step will be taken in the coming days to install an energy base, to which he replied:

“In terms of energy, I believe Türkiye is now in a good position. We are not dependent on anyone. We will have gained significant capacity as soon as the Akkuyu project is completed in the next 2-3 years. Following that, I met with President Putin to discuss Sinop as well. Hopefully, we will install four turbines there and generate as much as Akkuyu - if not more - there. Energy will no longer be an issue for Türkiye as soon as we achieve these. We will be in a lot better position. We may also quickly begin exporting energy.”

President Erdoğan also noted that there are countries that tell Türkiye, "We can support you in energy," and added, "We will also maintain our ties with them on this matter. If necessary, we also have the chance to purchase from them and export it, rather than using it for ourselves, initiating a process known as SWAP. I will not name them now; we will reveal which countries they are after we talk to them and make a decision."

President Erdoğan was reminded of his meeting with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy during the summit and asked, "Given that Berlusconi understands the importance of Türkiye, does he have any influence as a coalition partner on Meloni's pre-election speeches and the positive meeting you had with her? People talked about her stance, which sought to reclaim power from Brussels to such an extent that it could shake the European Union. What was your take during the meeting with her?" Upon this question, President Erdogan said:

"During the election campaign, she had genuine solidarity with Berlusconi and his colleagues. She is an outspoken lady. She specifically highlighted their relations with Türkiye under four topics. One of these focused on 'We can strengthen solidarity in the field of energy.' As you know, ENI is their most significant energy company. Migration is a problem that they, like us, struggle with. Apart from that, they said, 'From now on, we can strengthen our relations in the defence industry.' We can dwell on this particularly. Of course, SAMP-T in the defence industry is a crucial issue. Italy’s support within the European Union is also another important issue. 'We are currently in a favourable position in Italy in terms of figures,’ they said. In this regard, Italy is a European country with which we will stand in solidarity. There was a long period of deteriorating relations with Italy. We can reach a point where relations can be revived. We mutually reiterated our agreement on this issue, and we will, inshallah, move forward with Italy this way."