Putin confidante makes surprising appearance at AKP meeting

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Turkish PM Binali Yıldırım poses with Alexandr Dugin (L), believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) meeting in Parliament on Tuesday.

Alexandr Dugin, believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, appeared as a guest at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) meeting in Parliament on Tuesday.

Dugin, who posed with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım following the latter’s speech, told reporters after a tour of parts of the parliament building damaged during a July 15 coup attempt, that Putin did not send a written message but that he conveys his messages with his actions. According to Dugin, Putin is suggesting to Turkey a strategic partnership, the meaning of which should be analyzed by experts and intellectuals.

When asked whether such a partnership would conflict with Turkey’s NATO membership, Dugin said that it is Turkey’s decision as an independent nation to determine who is the enemy and who is a friend.

Dugin said Turkey knows who stood by those who bombed the parliament building and that it was definitely not Russia. According to him, the US and the Western world are disturbed by a Russia-Turkey rapprochement.

In response to a follow-up question asking whether Turkey should leave NATO, Dugin stated that it is a decision that Turkish officials must make.

Dugin, who earlier said that Russia notified Turkey in advance about the coup attempt, argued that the purpose of the coup was to divide Turkey and wipe it off the map. The parliamentary Coup Investigation Commission had asked Dugin to testify about his statement saying that he had informed Turkey about the coup, on July 14.

As part of the swift rapprochement between Turkey and Russia especially after the July 15 coup attempt, Turkey’s head of the armed forces and intelligence agency pay a visit to Russia la to discuss cooperation and developments.

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