FM: Turkish PM's Kosovo remark meant to stress close ties
Turkish Premier's remarks on Kosovo were meant to emphasize the strong bonds between the countries, said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday, Anadolu Agency reported.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had called Kosovo "our second home" and said, "Turkey is Kosovo, and Kosovo is Turkey," which drew the ire of Serbia.
Davutoglu said the Serbian translation of Erdogan's address in front of a packed crowd of Kosovar Turks in Prizren portrayed Turkey as if it had an "expansionist and Neo-Ottoman" attitude.
He said he talked with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkic on the issue.
"I told my dear friend that when we go to Belgrade, we also call it our second home. We say this naturally," Davutoglu said at televised program. "We see the people of Serbia as friends, just as we do the people of Albania, and we want to advance our relations with both."
"Turkey would never use such nostalgic expansionist rhetoric. However, we use the warmest of expressions to convey our sense of affinity. This is what our Prime Minister did."