Fidgeting Putin kept waiting for Erdoğan ahead of Tehran talks

A video of Putin waiting for Erdoğan awkwardly ahead of their talks in Tehran has shaken social media, with several users suggesting that the two leaders were engaged in a "power game" and the Turkish president had taken "his revenge" for a two-minute wait that the Russian president subjected him to in 2020.

Reuters - Duvar English 

Russian President Vladimir Putin was left waiting and fidgeting for 50 seconds by Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ahead of talks in Tehran on July 19, prompting Turkish media to draw parallels with Putin making him and other leaders stand by in the past.

The meeting in Iran was Putin's first with a NATO alliance leader since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

A video released by the Turkish presidency showed Putin standing in front of his chair and the nations' two flags, his hands clasped, mouth twitching and his stance shifting before Erdoğan appears. Putin then raises his hands to his sides.

"Hello, how are you, good?" Erdoğan said as they then smiled at each other and shook hands.

Media reports compared the incident with others of Putin letting world leaders cool their heels in the past, notably in Moscow in 2020 when Erdoğan was left waiting for about two minutes by the Russian leader ahead of a meeting.

Turkey's T24 website asked in a headline: "Was it revenge?"

Erdoğan, Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi gathered in Iran's capital Tehran for the 7th summit in the Astana format to discuss the recent developments in Syria. Following their meeting, the three leaders held a press meeting and released a joint written declaration in which they vowed "to ultimately eliminate terrorist individuals, groups, undertakings and entities.”

The leaders said there could be "no military solution to the Syrian conflict" and that "it could only be resolved through the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254."

Erdoğan said that the Kurdish YPG militia was taking steps to divide Syria with foreign support and that it would benefit the Syrian people to rid the country of them.

Erdoğan said he saw that the two countries understand Turkey's security concerns but words were not enough. He said Turkey's battle against the YPG and other militia would continue without a care for who supports it.

Ankara has carried out four operations in northern Syria since 2016, seizing hundreds of kilometres of land and mainly targeting the YPG. Erdoğan has said Turkey will again target the YPG, which it regards as a terrorist group, despite opposition from Russia and Iran.