Türkiye balances its worldwide affairs amid a battle 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 sometimes deteriorating ties with the West. Erdoğan, who was in New York to attend the United Nations Normal Meeting this week, sat down with U.S. broadcaster PBS in New York for an interview and spoke about Türkiye’s ties in gentle of latest developments.
Explaining his latest assembly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Erdoğan stated 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 produce 1 million tons of grain to Africa. “I’ve no cause to not belief them,” Erdoğan stated. To the extent the West is dependable, Russia is equally dependable. For the final 50 years, we’ve got 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 pressured that this query can’t be requested to a political chief. “As a result of the way in which I interact in politics, to the extent attainable, is all about establishing contacts with the nations all over the world based mostly 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 based mostly on the identical strategy as nicely, win-win,” he stated.
Ankara has maintained shut ties with each Russia and Ukraine throughout the 19-month battle. In July final yr, 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 world 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 battle in Ukraine will come to an finish. “It is not possible for me to present you a calendar about when this battle will finish or how lengthy it’s going to go,” he stated. “Solely the leaders of each events will be capable of inform you.” Requested about his discussions with Putin concerning the battle’s progress, Erdoğan famous that the battle is predicted to proceed for “a very long time.”
“And for the battle to finish as quickly as attainable, we wish to be very hopeful. And Mr. Putin is definitely on the facet of ending this battle as quickly as attainable,” he stated.
When requested about latest remarks he made on parting methods with the European Union if mandatory, the president stated that Türkiye attaches nice significance to choices 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 many years. And we have been at all times self-sufficient. We by no means relied on contributions or help we obtained from the EU, so it isn’t even mandatory for us,” he added.
Talking at an occasion organized by suppose 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 the US, 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. Underneath the management of Erdoğan, Türkiye took vital steps to meet 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 stated at a New York occasion. “We now have resolved a lot of the deadlocks throughout the talks with Mr. Biden and we’ve got determined to carry extra talks in keeping with the constructive agenda.”
“We’ll strengthen our cooperation on terrorism, which poses a menace to each nations,” he stated. Each nations would maintain additional talks to debate relations, he added.
In reference to U.S. help for the PKK terrorist group’s wing in northern Syria, the YPG, Erdoğan pressured that there could be no partnership with terror teams. “Each growth in our area demonstrates how incorrect the excellence between good terrorists and unhealthy terrorists is. There isn’t a negotiation with terrorists and no friendship or partnership could be established with them,” he stated.
Essentially the most excellent concern between the 2 nations these days seems to be blatant U.S. help 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 underneath the pretext of a battle towards 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, stated they agreed upon strengthening Turkish-U.S. friendship and cooperation.
On the similar occasion, the president additionally stated the way forward for Türkiye-EU ties relies on the stance of the bloc, noting that Ankara’s need to grow to be an EU member-state is just not sufficient. “The stance of the European Union can be a figuring out think about reaching our purpose,” he stated. 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 help Sweden to hitch NATO. However Sweden is meant to rise as much as the event and hold their guarantees as a result of on the streets of Stockholm, we nonetheless see terrorists wandering round freely,” he stated.
The Turkish chief was referring to supporters of the PKK and FETÖ within the nation. He has repeatedly urged Stockholm to take measures towards these supporters who, he stated, have been roaming freely.
Finland and Sweden utilized for NATO membership shortly after Russia launched its battle on Ukraine in February 2022. Though Türkiye accepted Finland’s NATO membership, it’s ready for Sweden to meet its commitments to not present shelter to terrorists or supporters of terrorists and to not facilitate their actions. The president stated that Sweden’s bid to hitch NATO is being assessed by the Turkish Parliament and it’s the place the place, he stated, 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 stated. 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 towards Ankara for allegedly threatening Greece’s safety. “Bob Menendez is just not very aware of Türkiye. And Menendez would not appear to be aware of Tayyip Erdoğan both,” stated the president. “We now have been mates with (Greece) for a lot of many years. 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 aren’t going to be a part of this. Our friendship with Greece is just not what they make it out to be,” he added.
Nevertheless, he reiterated that Sweden ought to hold 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 really occur goes to be crucial for the Turkish individuals. Sweden seemingly carried out legislative amendments, but it surely’s not sufficient,” the president added.
President Erdoğan additionally stated 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 subjects should not be associated, as a result of whereas, primarily, President (Joe) Biden stated that this concern was tied to the Congress, we might at all times say, OK, we’ve got the Turkish Parliament,” he stated. “If the Parliament would 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 battle in Ukraine. “Are we purported to do what the EU members are doing?” he stated. Saying that Türkiye has a special place on the earth and the EU member states have their positions, the president described Russia as one of many closest neighbors of Türkiye and stated that each nations have a typical historical past.
“And equally, that is how the present course of is continuous. 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 stated.