(28 March 2012)
Prior to the Lisbon Summit, Turkey and Iran were moving closer and closer . . . but then, the sudden love affair between the Islamic Republic and the Pseudo-Ottoman Republic came to a sudden halt. President Obama’s insistence on building a Missile Defense Shield, not necessarily aimed at Iran, meant that Turkey had to toe the line. Recently, Turkey’s ever-popular PM Tayyip Erdoğan went to South Korea to attend the nuclear summit. In Seoul he had meetings with President Obama and many other heads of state. On his way back to Turkey, he flew to Iran to have meetings with President Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian officials, as a way of showing that Turkey in its current pseudo-Ottoman guise is a power to be reckoned with and to reaffirm that Istanbul would be the site for the next round of negotiations relating to Iran’s nuclear programme. The Guardian reports that the ‘Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has met Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran ahead of fresh nuclear talks between Iran and world’s major powers. The meeting with the Iranian president was held behind closed doors, but the regime’s nuclear programme and the Syrian crisis are believed to be among the issues discussed between the two leaders. During a two-day visit to the Iranian capital, Erdogan also met with other senior officials, including the vice president, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, and the parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani. Iranian media reported that Erdogan spoke against pressure on countries with peaceful nuclear activities in a joint press conference with Rahimi’.
At a press conference with Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi in Tehran. Erdoğan said that “We had made a proposal to hold the nuclear meeting in Istanbul. The Iranian foreign minister had expressed a desire to hold the nuclear negotiations in Istanbul. We are waiting for the decision of the P5+1 [U.N. Security Council members plus Germany]”.
 “Turkish PM Erdogan holds Tehran talks with Ahmadinejad” The Guardian (28 March 2012). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/iran-blog/2012/mar/29/erdogan-ahmadinejad-tehran-iran-nuclear?newsfeed=true.
 “Turkish prime minister in Iran, venue for nuclear talks unclear” Hürriyet Daily News (29 March 2012). http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-prime-minister-in-iran-venue-for-nuclear-talks-unclear.aspx?pageID=238&nID=17155&NewsCatID=338.