Turkey did not summon Iran ambassador: Iranian source
Iran rejects claims that Turkey had summoned its ambassador to Ankara to protest criticism of President Recept Tayyip Erdogan in the Iranian media.
“The news on the summoning is a lie,” Mehr News Agency quoted the informed source at the Iranian Foreign Ministry as saying on Friday.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said earlier Bikdeli was summoned over reports linking the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia to last week’s visit to Riyadh by Erdogan.
The Iranian source denied the allegation. “The Iranian ambassador, on his own request and in order to outline Iran’s positions and the current developments in this regard, had asked the Turkish Foreign Ministry for a meeting.”
“The purpose of this short news piece was to imply that Turkey had joined Saudi allies in the diplomatic protest against Iran,” the source added.
Bikdeli himself has denied having been summoned. The IRNA news agency on Friday quoted him as saying on his Facebook page that his visit to the Turkish ministry had been planned before.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus (pictured below) has said the Saudi execution of Sheikh Nimr did not have Ankara’s support.
“We are against all instances of capital punishment, especially when it is politically motivated,” Kurtulmus told a press conference on Monday.
Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr, a vocal critic of Riyadh’s policies, alongside 46 other people on January 2.
The execution has provoked widespread global backlash, prompting the kingdom to sever relations with Iran over its strong criticism and pressuring some of its allies to follow suit.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said Turkey was ready to do everything it could to help calm tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The execution of Sheikh Nimr has escalated already tense tensions in the region, threatening to derail peace efforts in Syria and Yemen.