08:59 GMT04 December 2020
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    Dmitri Peskov, one of President Putin's most trusted assistants and a noted expert on Turkey and the Middle East, recently revealed some previously little-known details about his life.

    Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov once considered pursuing a career with a leading Turkish newspaper thanks to his knowledge of the Turkish language, the spokesman revealed, speaking to Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper in an interview published Monday.

    "I did not study journalism, so I could not say that there was a definite appeal to me. [Journalist] Cenk Baslamis was in the Moscow office of Milliyet and we were friends then. I was still interested in information and knowledge. Journalism is still 'terra incognita' for me," Peskov admitted.

    According to Peskov, while he spent time in Arab countries as a child with his father, a Soviet diplomat, his grades were not good enough to allow him to study Arabic at Moscow University's Institute of Asian and African Countries. Instead, he took up Turkish, having first visited the country in 1980 after a military coup. Peskov recalled that he was assigned to Ankara twice as a diplomat, spending "around 9 to 10 years" in the country, and doing translation work for Turkish businessmen before doing so in Russia.

    "Unfortunately, I cannot visit Turkey as much as I want to, but, for instance, I celebrated one birthday in Turkey. I went to Istanbul with my friends. Most of my friends hadn't visited Turkey before; I showed them Istanbul and I liked that very much. They all fell in love with [the city]," Peskov said.

    Ultimately, the Kremlin spokesman said that "both Turkey and Russia [have] changed a lot" in the time since he last lived in Turkey. 

    "The world also changed a lot. Unfortunately, we are living in a very hostile environment…In this world, there aren't that many friendships, new friends are not made easily. New enemies arrive. Turkey has historically been a friend. We share a common interest. Of course there may be fights and making up, but this common interest stands above all," Peskov concluded.


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    journalism, interview, biography, Dmitry Peskov, Turkey, Russia
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