Iran and Turkey are the two strong nations who are not only neighbors but also close friends that share a two thousand year legacy that has shaped the region in the past, then they have the capacity to bring peace by putting an end to the on-going wars in the region. It is the responsibility of both nations to collaborate and exchange necessary information for regional peace and tranquility.
Many more commonalities exist between Iran and Turkey more than any other neighbor countries in the world that makes it easier to join forces to pave the way for the stability in the Middle East. They share a border that is the only unchanged border in the region for nearly 400 years inked at Qasr-e Shirin agreement. The interaction between Turkey and Iran go back to the 10th century. It was the Selchuks and their emigration in the region, which contributed to a considerable number of Turks living in Iran. Thus both Turkish and Farsi languages share a lot of common words, which many may find surprising. The interaction between these two deep-rooted countries is not just limited to literature but also in arts, science and state government. It is important to note that the cultural relations and religious commonalities between two countries have far more effect than having only economic or political interconnection. Being a good neighbor is like being a close family member and this will provide the security the people have been seeking.
When people feel secure, they are psychologically content and ready to work on other areas like energy, economy, science and trade with trust and comfort. Thus Turkey and Iran have a strong and complimentary bond in terms of energy, international trade, science, technology, tourism and many other fields. Even though there are some differences, they understand how to handle them through dialogue. For example, their stance on the Syrian war is polar opposites but this never ruined their economic relations. Additionally, the two countries adopt different sects and the on-going sectarian wars within the region put them on different sides several times. However, in the end they realized their brotherhood and cooperation is beyond such differences and based on strong foundation. Besides, they have both stood by themselves when they were in hardship and it is clear that the nuclear deal P5+1 signed with Iran will facilitate better connections in terms of energy and foreign trade.
The exchange of visits by government officials of both countries is a great indication of their enthusiasm to improve the long-lasting bond. They are not like any other neighbor having an ordinary relationship, but they are two nations having so much in common as if they are from the same family and thus they do not feel out of place. Given the common cultural background, they signed the first cultural agreement in 1959 that was taken into effect in 1966 and consequently the cultural interconnections improved since then. Several joint cultural, friendship, educational institutions were established based on the contract. Fatma Sahin’s, former Minister of Family and Social Policy and current Mayor of Gaziantep, visit to Iranian Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi was an important move in enriching our relations and using all the means we both have. As a female politician, she touched upon the situation of the oppressed women and children and expressed that mothers have a great responsibility to bring peace and stability to the environment by stating: “We firstly as mothers can even stop wars by the projects we will carry out. We are in a period where the region is in need of Iran and Turkey’s friendship and unity. Collaboration and unity must not be only an example to the region but to the whole world.” Molaverdi agreed on the Mayor’s statement and stated the importance and the necessity of close connection and unity between Iran and Turkey at the time being. She mentioned the protocol vis a vis women, family and social matters inked during President Erdoğan’s last visit to Tehran but also iterated that working hard to accomplish is far more important. The ambassador of Iran to Ankara, Ali Reza Bikdeli also touched upon the importance of the relations of both countries by stating “Before the beginning of the Ottoman era and after that period when Iran and Turkey were on the same side, they both benefited and gained from it. When they fell apart they gained enemies.”
Being united always results in strength and peace but being separated and considering the differences as a cause to stay apart always ends in misery and conflict. Since Iran and Turkey are the two powerful countries in the region, they are capable of bringing peace to the region and being there for the oppressed women and children in times of need. Having inseparable humane connection would help settle the political issues in the region. Thus, the improvement in our relations would not only help the citizens of both countries but would bring back the peace days the poor women and children have been looking for.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Iran Daily: