Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Ankara is a strong NATO ally and fulfills its obligations.
Speaking at an event in the Aegean province of Aydın on Friday, Çavuşoğlu reiterated Turkey’s position in the 30-nation military alliance.
He criticized NATO, saying that although Turkey fulfills all of its obligations as a member of the organization, its defense needs are not always met.
“Why? After the operation we launched against the terrorist group PKK / YPG, they are not doing it … To put the PKK and the Kurds on the same level is an insult to our Kurdish brothers and sisters”, a- he said, referring to the terror of the PKK. group and its Syrian subsidiary YPG.
During its more than 40-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU – was responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women and children.
He said that due to such attitudes, Turkey has opted for other options, including focusing on its own burgeoning military industry. “Today, we have become one of the leading countries in the defense industry,” he said.
While Turkey awaited support from its NATO partners in its fight against the PKK / YPG terrorist groups, most of the allies have moved in the opposite direction.
Recently, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the United States is currently supporting terrorist organizations much more than expected, adding that the two NATO allies should be in a very different position.
The United States has mainly partnered with the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist organization, the YPG, in northeastern Syria to fight the terrorist group Daesh. Turkey has strongly opposed the presence of the terrorist group in northern Syria and the formation of a terrorist corridor, which has been a major sticking point in the strained relations between Turkey and the United States. Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, the United States provided military training and military support trucks to the YPG, despite the security concerns of its NATO ally.
Ankara has long opposed US support for the YPG, a group that poses a threat to Turkey and terrorizes the local population, destroying homes and forcing people to flee. While emphasizing that a country cannot support one terrorist group to fight another, Turkey has carried out its own counterterrorism operations, in which it has succeeded in eliminating a significant number of terrorists from the region.
Open talks with Russia
Çavuşoğlu said that the problems with Russia are openly discussed. “We do not recognize (the annexation of) Crimea, we support the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia. It is very clear, we do not hide these policies,” he said.
Russian forces entered the Crimean Peninsula in February 2014, with President Vladimir Putin formally dividing the region into two separate federal subjects of the Russian Federation the following month.
Turkey and the United States, as well as the United Nations General Assembly, consider annexation to be illegal.
At a Crimean Platform summit in August this year, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey has never recognized the illegal occupation of Crimea and will not recognize it, stressing that Ankara upholds the integrity territory of Ukraine. He also called on the international community to act together against the annexation of Crimea.
Turkey is one of the most active supporters of the Crimean issue at the international level, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova also said, expressing hope that the Crimean platform will strengthen global efforts for the liberation of the region.
The Crimean Platform is a new format of consultation and coordination initiated by Zelenskyy for the rapid desoccupation of Crimea and to increase pressure on Russia. Turkey was one of the first countries to express support for the Crimean Platform held on August 23.
Commitment to NATO
The Turkish presidency spokesman also told a German news site on Friday that Ankara was a strong member of NATO and unconditionally loyal to the alliance.
Ibrahim Kalın told Der Spiegel magazine that Turkey has contributed to many NATO missions and that issues between member countries should not weaken the alliance.
Kalın stressed that Europe is a powerful and important continent politically and economically and that it should increase its influence and independence in geographic and strategic decisions instead of being overshadowed by the United States.
He criticized Europeans for looking at Washington first in many decisions and said it was not an indicator of political leadership.