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Turkish President Erdoğan: “We expect our friends at NATO to act in line with the Alliance’s spirit and uphold the Alliance’s founding values”

Speaking at the North Atlantic Council Mediterranean Dialogue Meeting, President Erdoğan said: “We have just one expectation from our allies at a time when the threats against Turkey’s survival are on the rise. We expect our friends at NATO just to act in line with the Alliance’s spirit and uphold the Alliance’s founding values. We want our allies to take measures against the groups which they themselves designate as a terrorist organization.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a speech at the North Atlantic Council Mediterranean Dialogue Meeting at Çankaya Palace in Ankara.

Underlining the importance of the meeting in that it enables the participants to witness the threats facing Turkey, one of the oldest members of NATO, President Erdoğan noted that a period is currently being lived in which significant fractures occur in the international security environment and asymmetrical threats that directly concern the Alliance’s security such as terror are on the rise.

“THE STRUCTURES, WHOSE RAISON D’ÊTRE IS TO PROTECT GLOBAL SECURITY AND STABILITY, ARE HAVING VERY SERIOUS BLOCKAGES AND INTERRUPTIONS”

Drawing attention to the increasing number of occasions where hybrid war methods, which also have a cyber-security dimension, are being employed, President Erdoğan said: “In such an environment, the structures, whose raison d’être is to protect global security and stability, are having very serious blockages and interruptions. These institutions either cannot make any decisions when it comes to intervening against these problems or cannot implement the decisions they take.”

Pointing out that Turkey, over the past eight years, has personally lived the bitter repercussions of the threats originating from Syria and fully felt them in every area from economy to security, from social peace to politics, President Erdoğan underscored the extraordinary efforts Turkey has exerted as a NATO ally in the fight against irregular migration and terror.

Stressing that Turkey is home to the highest number of refugees across the world with 4 million refugees according to UN data, President Erdoğan stated that more than 35 billion dollars have been spent for Syrian refugees and that Operation Euphrates Shield has been carried out to eliminate the DAESH threat at the source.

“THROUGH OPERATION OLIVE BRANCH, WE HAVE LIBERATED THE AFRIN REGION FROM THE OCCUPATION OF PKK’S SYRIAN BRANCH”

“We were the only NATO country that fought hand to hand against DAESH on the ground in Syria and defeated this terrorist organization amid a wave of slanders against Turkey,” President Erdoğan said. “Through Operation Olive Branch, we have liberated the Afrin region from the occupation of PKK’s Syrian branch. We have enabled nearly 320 thousand Syrian refugees to return to the terror-free ‘safe zones’. As a result of Turkey’s efforts and sacrifices, peace now prevails again in regions which were under terrorist organizations’ assault just until a few years ago. Again, we have taken initiative in Idlib, which came to the brink of a grave humanitarian tragedy, and restored peace there. We have thereby prevented the death of hundreds of thousands of Syrian innocents and stemmed a flow of irregular migration which could have deeply effected Europe.”

“The essence of NATO is Allied solidarity. We as states are under the same security umbrella,” underlined President Erdoğan, and continued: “Although we are geographically located in different continents, we share the same destiny in the face of threats against our countries. It is against NATO’s raison d’être to expect Alliance members to address singlehandedly such serious security challenges as terror.”

Further stressing that Turkey also maintains its fight against terrorist organizations DAESH and FETO, too, without a break, President Erdoğan said: “Some of our allies, unfortunately, offer this terrorist organization’s ringleaders and members who personally got involved in the coup attempt opportunities to escape justice. Islamophobia and xenophobia, which have turned into a plague epidemic in Western societies, pose a threat to the life and property of millions of people along with Turkish citizens. The nefarious acts of terror in Sri Lanka and New Zealand have manifested the extent the problem has reached.”

“WE WANT OUR ALLIES TO TAKE MEASURES AGAINST THE GROUPS WHICH THEY THEMSELVES DESIGNATE AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION”

The scourge of terror will continue to escalate in the absence of necessary measures and joint stance, underlined President Erdoğan, stating: “We have just one expectation from our allies at a time when the threats against Turkey’s survival are on the rise. We expect our friends at NATO just to act in line with the Alliance’s spirit and uphold the Alliance’s founding values. We want our allies to take measures against the groups which they themselves designate as a terrorist organization.”

The President added that there are no reasonable grounds for Turkey’s allies to provide truckloads of weapons and equipment to terrorist organizations that claim Turkish citizens’ lives and for some other countries to give red-carpet treatment to terrorist ringleaders.

Turkey, while maintaining its strong position within NATO, will also take the steps that are necessary for its national interests, regional security and stability, President Erdoğan said, and continued: “The relationships Turkey has developed with various countries are not alternatives to one another, but they are complementary. We definitely don’t condone efforts aimed at stirring such a debate over some current issues such as the S-400s which fall under our country’s sovereign rights. The steps we take to consolidate our national security within the framework of NATO should be evaluated on their own basis. Trying to put Turkey under very narrow patterns and speculating about our tendencies is equal to not understanding us, our history and our geographical location. While we continue in the strongest manner our contributions for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic region, we also attach the same level of importance to ensuring peace in the Mediterranean basin, which we see as the cradle of civilization.”

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