Türkİye, Middle East

President Erdogan stresses Türkiye-Iran cooperation to promote development, stability in region

'We have not terminated, will not terminate our economic, trade relations with neighbor Iran due to sanctions,' says Recep Tayyip Erdogan following meeting with his Iranian counterpart

Merve Berker  | 24.01.2024 - Update : 25.01.2024
President Erdogan stresses Türkiye-Iran cooperation to promote development, stability in region Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (L) attend the 8th Meeting of Turkiye-Iran High-Level Cooperation Council at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkiye on January 24, 2024.

- Türkiye is determined to reach $30B trade target with Iran, asserts Turkish president

- Ebrahim Raisi praises 2 neighboring countries' bilateral cooperation    


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Ankara and Tehran should strengthen their cooperation in order to promote development and stability in the region.

“We have not terminated and will not terminate our economic and trade relations with our neighbor Iran due to sanctions,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi shortly after their meeting and the signing of 10 agreements.

Erdogan stressed that improving bilateral relations would not only benefit the two countries, but the entire region.

Türkiye is “determined to reach the $30 billion trade target with Iran,” he asserted.

Pointing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the sanctions that have been applied against Iran as the reasons why economic and trade relations have decreased in the last couple of years, Erdogan stressed that the effects of these still continue, even though the coronavirus has been left behind.

Border gates

“As two neighboring countries, we attach special importance to the activities in the border regions and the infrastructure here for the development of our trade with Iran,” the Turkish president said.

“When the modernization work that we started at the Gurbulak-Bazargan Border Gate is completed, the Esendere and Dilucu customs gates will be relaxed and Gurbulak will provide services with a high capacity.

“The issue of opening new border crossings with Iran is also on our agenda,” he emphasized.

“Efforts to establish border trade centers aimed at increasing the economic development of our border provinces are also under way.”

“According to the data of our Commerce Ministry, our contracting companies have undertaken 56 projects totaling $4.6 billion in Iran so far,” he said, adding: “While many Western companies fled Iran due to sanctions, 200 of our companies chose to stay in Iran despite all the difficulties.”

Expressing Ankara’s expectation from Tehran to take “concrete steps” to solve the problems that Turkish firms face in Iran, Erdoganindicated: “I believe that this will pave the way for more investment from Türkiye to Iran.”

”We will also encourage our companies to make more investments in Iran as part of a win-win approach,” he said.


The Turkish president also discussed Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza.

Mentioning the Palestinian casualties, Erdogansaid: “The people of Gaza have become the victims of an atrocity that will go down in human history with shame.”

“We have seen the real faces of those who have been teaching the world about human rights and democracy for decades together in this process,” he said.

Underlining Türkiye’s stance on the issue from the very beginning, he noted: “With the support of Egypt, we have sent 17 planes and five ships full of humanitarian aid supplies to El-Arish so far.”

“Thus, we have shipped more than 30,000 tons of relief materials, including 26,000 tons of flour, to the region to be delivered to our Gaza brothers,” he said, adding: “We are hosting 380 patients and 344 injured companions in Türkiye and providing their treatment.”

“We support the steps taken in the field of international law to prevent Israel from getting away with the war crimes it has committed,” he underscored.

“Victory in this process will be of our Palestinian brothers,” he said.

He added that the issue is in the focus of both Ankara and Tehran.

“We are working and will work with all our might to stop the massacres, establish a cease-fire and open the way to permanent peace in the region,” he said.

-‘Dysfunctionality’ of int’l organizations

Raisi praised the bilateral cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

Regarding the Israeli war on Gaza, the Iranian leader criticized the US's support for Israeli decisions, as well as the "dysfunctionality" of international institutions, including the UN.

“At a time when international organizations are losing their function, we definitely need to strive for a new and just world order,” he said.

He stressed to the international community that “cutting off political and economic relations with the Zionist regime will be a deterrent to ending these Zionist murders.”

The Health Ministry in the blockaded Gaza Strip said Wednesday that the Palestinian death toll from Israeli attacks on Gaza since Oct. 7 has jumped to 25,700.

The ministry in a statement said 63,740 others have also been injured.

Israeli forces committed 24 massacres across the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours, killing 210 people and wounding 386 others, the statement said, adding: “Many people are still trapped under rubble and on the roads and rescuers cannot reach them."

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group Hamas last October, in which nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed.

About 85% of Gazans have since been displaced, all of them are food insecure and the health system is collapsing. Hundreds of thousands of people are living without shelter, and ⁠less than half of the aid trucks are entering the territory than before the start of the conflict.

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