Existing relations between Venezuela and Turkey peaked after a 2016 defeated coup attempt in Turkey by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), Venezuela's foreign minister said Saturday.
Venezuela always had "good relations" with Turkey and President Nicolas Maduro was one of the first leaders to condemn the July 15 coup attempt by FETO, said Jorge Arreaza.
Relations are not yet at the desired level but the Turkish and Venezuelan economies have the potential to complement each other, he said while taking questions by Mehmet Necati Kutlu, Latin Studies Center Director at Turkey’s Ankara University
"Those who want to invest in Venezuela from Turkey are being phoned and threatened. There are some who are imposing sanctions. Therefore, I believe there is a need for a new legal framework to protect private sector investments," he said. "In the coming years we will see the best figures in trade with Turkey and I believe we will establish closer cultural relations.”
Also, he went on to say: "The Turkish Ambassador wants to inaugurate the cultural center of Turkey in a short time and we also mentioned a mosque. We are starting to get to know each other. We are very distant but very alike."
Regarding possible relations between Venezuela and the US, Arreaza said if the new American administration wants dialogue, Venezuela is open to it.
"There was no way a civilized dialogue with the Trump administration could continue. I hope we can establish this with President-elect Joe Biden," he said. "We will have to wait to see if Biden will allow being controlled by military, industry, technological, financial groups, or whether he can put some will of his own identity and personality to improve relations with Venezuela.”
The US has been Venezuela's most important trade partner for 100 years but now it is China, he said, adding we can have a "good relationship" with the US under international law and mutual respect.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup in 2016, in which 251 people were martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
By Gokhan Varan