Turkey condemns Iran’s aggressiveness over poem read by Erdogan in Azerbaijan

Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun

Ankara has condemned the aggressive stance of Iran toward President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkey over the recitation of a poem during a ceremony in Azerbaijan, a statement released Saturday by Communications Director Fahrettin Altun read, stressing that the meaning of the poem has been taken out of context.

“There is an ongoing attempt to fuel artificial tensions over a poem that the President recited at the victory parade in Baku, which was held to mark the liberation of Azerbaijani lands from Armenia’s occupation,” the statement says. The poem the president recited is reflecting the “emotional experience of an aggrieved people” due to the occupation of Armenia, it continued, saying that there weren’t any references to Iran or any other country for that matter.

The sharing of a map of Iran during the Safavid empire (1501-1722) by the Iranian Minister of Information Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi further escalated the anti-Turkey campaign, Altun said, stressing that such a move is detrimental in the ongoing efforts to promote peace in the region.

“We cannot possibly tolerate such claims over the sovereign territory of Turkey or any other country,” the statement read.

Altun reminded in the statement that Turkey stood in solidarity with the Iranian state and people, despite the risk of having to endure international pressures, calling on Iran to use the shared history of their people to promote a positive agenda – rather than hostility.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned Iran’s ambassador Friday after Iran had earlier summoned Turkey’s ambassador to the country over the poem.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed that the poem Erdoğan read aloud targeted Iran’s territorial integrity.

On Thursday, Erdoğan attended a victory parade in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku to mark the country’s recent military success in liberating Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions from nearly 30 years of Armenian occupation.