"We greatly appreciate Ataturk"
Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at his annual news conference, praised the Russian-Turkish relations, answering the question from journalist Fuad Safarov, who asked about Putin’s attitude to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
"Ataturk was a great person, who did a lot for the Turkish nation. He was a good friend of Russia, we greatly appreciate it. Ataturk created modern Turkey, laid its basic foundations," the president said in the first place.
As for the relations, Vladimir Putin stressed that they are developing well, even if some interests of the two nations don’t coincide. He added that Russia respects Turkish interests in Syria and sees that Ankara is willing to compromise where Russia’s interests are involved.
"Our economic relations are strengthening. Despite the fact that Turkey is a member of NATO, it pursues an independent foreign policy, which creates conditions for predictability and stability of our relations. The Turkish president's personal stance contributes to this situation, we hope that the same trend will continue further under Recep Tayyip Erdogan's leadership," Vladimir Putin concluded.