In this photo provided by the Islamic Republic of IRNA News Agency, a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi

In this photo provided by the Islamic Republic of IRNA News Agency, a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi

Sadettin Tantan, the former Minister of Internal Affairs of Turkey, recently shared his views on the recent helicopter crash involving former Iranian President Ibrahim Reisi. In an exclusive interview with Turan News Agency, Tantan discussed the incident, highlighting the shortcomings in state security protocols and reflecting on broader regional dynamics. Sadettin Tantan's insights shed light on the intricate web of regional diplomacy and security, underscoring the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Turkey and its neighboring states.

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Turan: How do you assess the crash of the helicopter carrying former Iranian President Ibrahim Reisi in terms of security measures within the state protocol?

Tantan: During state visits, security measures are expected to be at their highest level, with intelligence agencies discreetly implementing necessary precautions. Given the weather conditions, Iranian intelligence should have opted for an alternative to a helicopter. The chaos and civil war that erupted after the 1994 shooting down of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane demonstrated how the deaths of heads of state could lead to dangerous consequences. The helicopter crash on Sunday reveals clear flaws in the state protocol.

Turan: In his speech at the Araz River ceremony last Sunday, the head of state spoke about friendly and brotherly relations with Iran. Both countries oppose external interventions in the region and emphasize the need for joint resistance. Israel, a country of concern for Iran, has very good relations with Azerbaijan. How would you comment on this situation?

Tantan: There is no permanent friendship or enmity between states. It is normal to maintain good relations with neighboring countries. The positive relations between Israel and Azerbaijan should not hinder the development of Iranian-Azerbaijani relations. Similar to Turkey's relations with both Russia and Ukraine, Azerbaijan can maintain close ties with both Iran and Israel. Israel's support for Azerbaijan during its military operations to liberate lands from Armenian occupation was significant.

Turan: You have consistently emphasized the importance of regional cooperation between Turkey and Iran. In what areas can Turkey and Iran cooperate after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023?

Tantan: We have not experienced a border conflict with Iran since the Qasri-Shirin agreement of 1639. Developing relations between Turkey and Iran is crucial for regional development. However, a lack of trust in Iran's domestic policies hinders progress. The Hamas attack on October 7 expanded Israel's operational scope, which has limited cooperation with Turkey. Iran's failure to combat the PKK terrorist organization also damages our relations. Turkey and Iran should focus on improving trade relations to enhance the well-being of their populations, fight terrorism, and address regional conflicts.

Turan: Nearly four years have passed since Azerbaijan's victory, yet a peace agreement with Armenia has not been signed. What conditions do you think are necessary for a peace agreement to be signed?

Tantan: Establishing comprehensive relations with the international community is essential to counteract Russia's attempts to maintain regional hegemony. The Zangezur corridor should be opened as soon as possible. Turkey should use its influence to facilitate this.

Turan: As the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, Great Britain is working to develop relations with Central Asia. Is Turkey taking the necessary steps in this area?

Tantan: Turkey is making significant progress through its NGOs, especially with the activities of TIKA. However, trade and military relations need to be strengthened. The opening of the Zangezur corridor will be one of Turkey's greatest achievements in this area. It will simplify commercial activities, and military relations will need to be developed subsequently. Turkey's well-intentioned efforts have not yet achieved the desired level of relations.

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