Türkiye balances its worldwide affairs amid a struggle in Ukraine that escalated anti-Russian rhetoric within the West. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who spearheads efforts for peace and a grain deal, maintains good ties with each Russia and Ukraine whereas striving to enhance Ankara’s often deteriorating ties with the West. Erdoğan, who was in New York to attend the United Nations Basic Meeting this week, sat down with U.S. broadcaster PBS in New York for an interview and spoke about Türkiye’s ties in mild of current developments.
Explaining his current assembly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Erdoğan mentioned he couldn’t get him to renew the Black Sea grain deal the Kremlin withdrew from in July however had elicited a pledge for Russia to provide 1 million tons of grain to Africa. “I’ve no motive to not belief them,” Erdoğan mentioned. To the extent the West is dependable, Russia is equally dependable. For the final 50 years, we have now been ready on the doorstep of the EU and, at this second in time, I belief Russia simply as a lot as I belief the West.”
Requested if he sees extra of a profit to Türkiye’s relationship with Russia or with the U.S., President Erdoğan burdened that this query can’t be requested to a political chief. “As a result of the best way I interact in politics, to the extent doable, is all about establishing contacts with the nations around the globe primarily based on a win-win state of affairs. Simply as I’ve good relations with the U.S., equally, I’ll have good relations with Russia. And we’ll proceed to have a relationship with the EU member states primarily based on the identical strategy as effectively, win-win,” he mentioned.
Ankara has maintained shut ties with each Russia and Ukraine throughout the 19-month struggle. In July final 12 months, Türkiye and the U.N. engineered a deal to permit Ukrainian grain to be safely shipped from its Black Sea ports, serving to alleviate a worldwide meals disaster. Moscow pulled out of the settlement two months in the past, claiming a parallel deal to permit its exports of foodstuffs and fertilizer had not been honored.
Erdoğan acknowledged that solely the Russian and Ukrainian presidents can decide when the struggle in Ukraine will come to an finish. “It is inconceivable for me to provide you a calendar about when this struggle will finish or how lengthy it should go,” he mentioned. “Solely the leaders of each events will have the ability to inform you.” Requested about his discussions with Putin concerning the struggle’s progress, Erdoğan famous that the battle is anticipated to proceed for “a very long time.”
“And for the struggle to finish as quickly as doable, we wish to be very hopeful. And Mr. Putin is definitely on the aspect of ending this struggle as quickly as doable,” he mentioned.
When requested about current remarks he made on parting methods with the European Union if mandatory, the president mentioned that Türkiye attaches nice significance to selections made by the EU and can welcome any constructive step ahead. “Türkiye has been lingering on the doorstep of the EU for the final 5 a long time. And we have been all the time self-sufficient. We by no means relied on contributions or assist we obtained from the EU, so it is not even mandatory for us,” he added.
Talking at an occasion organized by assume tanks on Monday in New York, Erdoğan underlined that there was a window of alternative for the revitalization of relations with the EU in a essential interval.
Simply as he was about to depart for america, Erdoğan, at a information convention, expressed his disappointment over a report assessing Türkiye’s bid, criticized by the nation for being biased and stuffed with false accusations. Below the management of Erdoğan, Türkiye took vital steps to satisfy the standards for membership of the 27-member bloc, whereas Ankara heightened bilateral relations with EU states. But, persevering with tolerance of the EU for terrorist teams threatening Türkiye led to a deterioration of ties. Differing views on different points additional eroded belief between the 2 sides though Türkiye and the EU remained main commerce companions.
Erdoğan additionally indicated bettering ties with Washington. “We’re happy with the event of our cooperation with the U.S.,” he mentioned at a New York occasion. “We now have resolved many of the deadlocks throughout the talks with Mr. Biden and we have now determined to carry extra talks in step with the constructive agenda.”
“We are going to strengthen our cooperation on terrorism, which poses a menace to each nations,” he mentioned. Each nations would maintain additional talks to debate relations, he added.
In reference to U.S. assist for the PKK terrorist group’s wing in northern Syria, the YPG, Erdoğan burdened that there might be no partnership with terror teams. “Each growth in our area demonstrates how flawed the excellence between good terrorists and dangerous terrorists is. There isn’t a negotiation with terrorists and no friendship or partnership might be established with them,” he mentioned.
Probably the most excellent concern between the 2 nations these days seems to be blatant U.S. assist for terrorist teams threatening Türkiye, together with the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ), whose chief resides in Pennsylvania, and the PKK/YPG, which is supported by Washington beneath the pretext of a combat in opposition to Daesh. Erdoğan, who final met U.S. President Joe Biden earlier this month in New Delhi, the place they each attended a G-20 summit, mentioned they agreed upon strengthening Turkish-U.S. friendship and cooperation.
On the identical occasion, the president additionally mentioned the way forward for Türkiye-EU ties relies on the stance of the bloc, noting that Ankara’s want to turn out to be an EU member-state just isn’t sufficient. “The stance of the European Union shall be a figuring out think about reaching our purpose,” he mentioned. In his remarks, Erdoğan additionally talked about Türkiye’s contributions to fixing world and regional issues, selling peace, stability and prosperity within the area, and addressing injustices throughout the worldwide system.
Sweden’s NATO bid
Within the PBS interview, Erdoğan reiterated that Sweden’s NATO bid and Türkiye’s present place throughout the EU accession negotiations are two separate points. “We now have repeatedly acknowledged that we have been able to assist Sweden to affix NATO. However Sweden is meant to rise as much as the event and maintain their guarantees as a result of on the streets of Stockholm, we nonetheless see terrorists wandering round freely,” he mentioned.
The Turkish chief was referring to supporters of the PKK and FETÖ within the nation. He has repeatedly urged Stockholm to take measures in opposition to these supporters who, he mentioned, have been roaming freely.
Finland and Sweden utilized for NATO membership shortly after Russia launched its struggle on Ukraine in February 2022. Though Türkiye accepted Finland’s NATO membership, it’s ready for Sweden to satisfy its commitments to not present shelter to terrorists or supporters of terrorists and to not facilitate their actions. The president mentioned that Sweden’s bid to affix NATO is being assessed by the Turkish Parliament and it’s the place the place, he mentioned, the accession can be ultimately ratified. “That is a part of the agenda of the Turkish Grand Nationwide Meeting. The Meeting will see the scenario throughout the framework of its personal calendar. This proposal will come to a vote by the lawmakers,” he mentioned. The president additionally commented on U.S. Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who is thought for his opposition to the U.S. sale of F-16s to Türkiye and his accusations in opposition to Ankara for allegedly threatening Greece’s safety. “Bob Menendez just isn’t very accustomed to Türkiye. And Menendez does not appear to be accustomed to Tayyip Erdoğan both,” mentioned the president. “We now have been mates with (Greece) for a lot of a long time. It looks like Menendez has taken a hostile strategy to Türkiye and he is making an attempt to drag us in the direction of sure discussions of his selecting. However we’re not going to be a part of this. Our friendship with Greece just isn’t what they make it out to be,” he added.
Nonetheless, he reiterated that Sweden ought to maintain its guarantees. “Terrorist teams ought to instantly cease their demonstrations on the streets of Stockholm and they need to cease their actions. As a result of seeing this truly occur goes to be essential for the Turkish individuals. Sweden seemingly carried out legislative amendments, nevertheless it’s not sufficient,” the president added.
President Erdoğan additionally mentioned he believed the U.S. sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye and Sweden’s NATO bid shouldn’t be associated. “I consider these two matters should not be associated, as a result of whereas, primarily, President (Joe) Biden mentioned that this concern was tied to the Congress, we’d all the time say, OK, we have now the Turkish Parliament,” he mentioned. “If the Parliament does not make a constructive choice about this bid, then there’s nothing to do,” he added.
The president was additionally requested why he didn’t be a part of the EU members for sanctioning Russia over its struggle in Ukraine. “Are we speculated to do what the EU members are doing?” he mentioned. Saying that Türkiye has a unique place on this planet and the EU member states have their positions, the president described Russia as one of many closest neighbors of Türkiye and mentioned that each nations have a standard historical past.
“And equally, that is how the present course of is constant. We now have launched the (Ukraine) grain hall. Altogether, 33 million tons of grain are exported to the remainder of the world utilizing the Black Sea. And we did not do that simply because the EU requested us to take action. It was a humanitarian obligation that we assumed,” he mentioned.