Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has penned a letter in Italy's Il Messaggero newspaper for former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who died on June 12 aged 86.
In the letter, Erdoğan said Berlusconi was the first one among world leaders to object to his political ban sentence when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the elections for the first time back in 2002. The Turkish president added that Berlusconi always supported Turkey’s membership in the European Union.
“We had really fruitful, sincere and friendly relations with Mr. Berlusconi as the two prime ministers. He showed the true meaning of friendship,” Erdoğan said in the letter.
The Turkish leader said he felt “great sadness” when he heard Berlusconi's death and shared his condolences with the Italian people.
“Mr. Berlusconi was a one-of-a-kind politician with his unique attitude and his achievements in different fields from the business world to politics. I believe that Berlusconi, who dominated Italian politics for many years, left an indelible mark,” Erdoğan noted.
Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire media mogul and former Italian prime minister who transformed the nation's politics with polarizing policies, died on June 12 at Milan's San Raffaele hospital aged 86.