After news of the news that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had suspended his official visit to Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela scheduled for early February, Prensa Armenia agency asked a numerous of sources who confirmed the reasons for the failed diplomatic tour.
The tensions began with the late request of the Turkish ambassador of Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, Meral Barlas, who, according to the Ecos portal, made a query to the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry on Friday, January 26 to know the president’s availability only two weeks ahead of the supposed trip.
One of the most important causes was the refusal of Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez to receive Erdogan with a full agenda: he only agreed to a brief meeting, something that Turkish diplomacy considered insufficient. In addition, the Uruguayan government rejected the extreme security measures demanded by Turkey, which included 100 Turkish guards, snipers and attack dogs.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay learned on Tuesday, January 30, of the suspension of the trip through the media.
“Until the afternoon of this Tuesday, the Uruguayan government had no official news about the cancellation,” the Ecos portal reported after consulting the Uruguayan deputy secretary for foreign affairs, Ariel Bergamino. “At a meeting held a few hours earlier at the Santos Palace, Barlas was asked for information, and the diplomat promised to hold consultations with her government in Ankara, but the answer is still not forthcoming.”
Between November 30 and December 1º the meeting of the G20 will be held in Argentina for the first time in South America, chaired by President Mauricio Macri. It is believed that Erdogan would travel first to Uruguay and then to Argentina for that meeting, which would also include Donald Trump, President of the United States, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, French leader Emmanuel Macron, President of Brazil, Michel Temer, and the future presidents of China, Russia and Italy, among others.
Erdogan had already canceled a visit to Buenos Aires in 2010: on that occasion he was to attend as Prime Minister to the inauguration of a bust of Mustafa Kemal. A strong pressure from the Armenian community caused the City government headed by the former Mayor of Buenos Aires City, Mauricio Macri, to back down with the project, causing the suspension of Erdogan’s trip. Years later, in September 2013, he traveled to Argentina to participate in a session of the International Olympic Committee and to support the candidacy of Istanbul as host of the 2020 Olympic Games. On that occasion, there was a strong mobilization of the Armenian community of the country in front of his hotel to repudiate the visit.