Moscow, December 17, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin is concerned with gradual Islamization of the Turkish society.
"The creeping Islamization, which would have probably turned Ataturk in his grave, has had an effect on us too. We can see, and we record, that militants, people with origins, say, in the North Caucasus, are staying in Turkey. We have told our partners about that many times. We are not doing that to Turkey, are we? They stay there, they undergo treatment and then they come here with Turkish passports using the visa-free travel regime and disappear. We have to catch them either in the Caucasus or in our million-plus cities afterwards," Putin said at his annual press conference on Thursday.
According to him, incumbent Turkish authorities are always criticized for Islamization of the country.
"Today, I don't say whether it is bad or good, but I admit that incumbent authorities of Turkey decided to demonstrate both Americans and Europeans: yes, we are islamizing the country, but we are a kind of modern Islamists, civilized ones. Once, Reagan said about Somoza: Somoza is certainly a scamp, but he is our scamp; you should mind that we're Islamists, but we're your Islamists," Putin drew a parallel.
According to him, it is practically impossible to come to terms with the incumbent Turkish administration, and there are no such prospects at the interstate level.
"Life has shown that it is difficult to us, practically impossible, to come to terms with the incumbent Turkish administration. Even when and where we say that we agree they stab us in the side or in the back for absolutely unclear reasons," Putin said.
"So, I do not see a possibility to adjust relations with the Turkish side at the interstate level but this is definitely [possible] at the humanitarian level although problems exist there too. The incumbent Turkish administration has achieved what it probably did not expect - we have had to introduce certain restrictive measures in the economy and in some other areas," he said.