Erdoğan: “I Had Very Good Relations With Obama When I First Came to Power

U.S. President Obama shakes hands with Turkey's PM Erdogan after a bilateral meeting in SeoulTurkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted in an interview published Sunday he was unconcerned by Turkey’s “isolation” on the world stage, despite deteriorating relations with several former allies.

“I do not mind isolation in the world,” Erdogan was quoted as telling the Hurriyet newspaper after a tour of Colombia, Cuba and Mexico.

He suggested other world leaders might be “jealous” of him for speaking his mind on major issues, but that ordinary people supported him.

Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey since 2003 as prime minister and then president, admitted he no longer enjoyed good relations with US President Barack Obama.

“I had very good relations with Obama when I first came to power,” he said, recalling White House meetings with the president.

But he added: “After all these talks, we see things started to develop in a different way which I barely understand.”