Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that it summoned Turkey’s ambassador to Iran after Iranian media reports linking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Riyadh with Saudi Arabia’s execution of 47 people over terror charges.
A statement released by the ministry said "We strongly condemn the linking of our president's recent visit to Saudi Arabia to the executions sentenced in the country in stories published on media outlets linked to Iranian official bodies."
The ministry also demanded an immediate end to baseless Iranian publications and broadcasts that aim to form a negative image of the Turkish president among Iranian people.
Erdogan had paid a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia between Dec. 29 and Dec. 31 where he and King Salman bin Abdul Aziz hold talks focused on the Syrian conflict and cooperation between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia executed 47 people including a prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al Nimr on terror charges last week.
Shiite dominated Iran warned that Saudi Arabia would pay a "steep price" for the cleric’s death, while Iranian protesters attacked Saudi embassy in Tehran.
Following the protests, Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran and gave 48 hours for Iranian diplomatic mission and related entities to leave the country.
Many regional allies of Sunni dominated Saudi Arabia including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Qatar and Djibouti cut or downgraded diplomatic relations with Iran but Turkey urged both countries to resolve their political differences in "a diplomatic language" with "deliberation" and common sense.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have opposing political stances in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Bahrain where Iran, the Shiite powerhouse of the Middle East, supports Shiite-aligned governments and groups against Sunni opposition groups or governments.