NTV television, Turkey
Aug 31 2008

Turkish premier says Russia "more than special" for Turkey

Prime Minister Erdogan has said that Turkey is trying to make sure
that the tension in the Caucasus does not become worse. He said:
Russia is special for us.

The prime minister was replying to reporters' questions during the
Victory Day reception at the at the Gazi military club in Ankara.

In reply to a question on President Gul's visit to Armenia, Erdogan
said: May it be auspicious.

As for the president, he said he has not yet decided whether to go or

Erdogan said that together with Foreign Minister Babacan, they were
trying to solve the problems in the Caucasus at the negotiation
table. He said: Russia is more than special for us. The United States
is our ally and Russia is our largest trade partner. We get two thirds
of our energy from Russia. God forbid, we may remain in the dark. We
are also sensitive in connection with Georgia.

In connection with the warships in the Black Sea, Erdogan affirmed
that the Montreux Convention would be followed, and that the ships
will leave on time, and maybe earlier.

[translated from Turkish]