ANKARA - Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy have joined world leaders in congratulating Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his election win.

In a letter to president Erdogan celebrating his narrow run-off victory on Sunday, Mr Putin addressed the Turkish leader as "Dear Friend" and praised his efforts at strengthening Russian-Turkish relations.

"From the bottom of my heart I wish you new successes in such a responsible activity as the head of state, as well as good health and well-being," he added.

Mr Zelensky also offered his congratulations to Mr Erdogan and spoke of the need for the "further strengthening" of Ukraine and Turkey's "strategic" partnership.

He was joined by Western leaders, such as Rishi Sunak, Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron, who took to Twitter to congratulate Mr Erdogan on his election win.

Turkey holds an important position in world politics, in part because of its geographical location as the junction between Europe and Asia - in particular the Middle East.

With Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Turkey also holds increasing importance as the gatekeeper to the Black Sea and has been central in negotiating crucial deals to maintain the export of Ukrainian grain.

Though a NATO country - and one which has in the past pushed for European Union membership - Turkey maintains diplomatic relations with Russia.

It is noteworthy to remember that Erdogan and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres were instrumental in convincing Putin to allow for the resumption of Ukraine grain shipping to the rest of world otherwise we would have millions of people starving.