Italy PM pays first visit to Türkiye, meets Erdogan

Istanbul: Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni paid her first visit to Türkiye on Jan. 20, engaging in discussions with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Istanbul’s Vahdettin Mansion.

The closed-door meeting marks the third in-person meeting between Meloni and Erdogan, following their encounters at the NATO summit in Vilnius last July and the U.N. General Assembly in New York in September.

The leaders also held a phone call two months later, where Erdogan expressed his desire to seek “international justice for the Israeli war crimes.” The president appealed for Italy’s support in advocating for a ceasefire and establishing lasting peace in the midst of escalating tensions and civilian casualties in Palestinian territories.

During their conversation, Erdogan stressed the urgency of addressing what he termed as “deepening atrocities” and a surge in civilian deaths. In response, Meloni proposed the term “humanitarian pause,” underlining the importance of Hamas immediately releasing hostages.

The last high-level visit from Italy occurred in July 2022 when then-premier Mario Draghi engaged in talks with Erdogan.