Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced support for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a Wednesday morning phone call, reportedly telling Rouhani his response to the uprising has been “appropriate” and expressing hope that the protests “will end in a few days.”
“Erdoğan said Rouhani had taken an ‘appropriate stance’ by saying demonstrators should not violate the law while exercising their right to peaceful protests, the sources stated, adding that the Turkish president stressed the significance of ‘maintaining peace and stability in Iran,’” reports Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News. The sources in question are reportedly close to the Erdogan presidency.
Some other sources are unclear about whether it was Erdogan or Rouhani who predicted the protests would end in a matter of days, but if it was the latter, Erdogan at least seemed to favor such an outcome.
Reuters describes the phone call as “one of the first regional expressions of support for Tehran” since the protests began. It comes in the context of improving relations between Turkey and Iran after years of sharp division over the Syrian civil war. The Turks have long been critical of Syrian President Bashar Assad – in fact, Erdogan called him a “terrorist” just last week and insisted he should have no role in the future of Syria – while Iran provided vital military support to the Damascus dictatorship.
On Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu denounced U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for supporting the Iranian protesters, a statement that will doubtless prove useful to the Iranian regime’s paranoid claims that the uprising is a foreign operation meant to overthrow Iran’s government.
“Iran’s stability is important for us. We are against foreign interventions in Iran. If the leadership is to change in Iran, the Iranian people will do this,” said Cavusoglu.
“Turkey is against any move to come to power through unconstitutional and unlawful ways or by using force or external interventions,” added Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag, supporting Iran’s contentions that the uprising is an unconstitutional insurgency inspired or directed by foreign powers.