6 December 2019

Turkey urges US, EU to address its security concerns

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Turkey on Monday brushed away criticisms that it was moving away from the West amid the row over its purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, urging the U.S. and European allies to seriously address its security concerns. reports citing Anadolu Agency.

In an op-ed in Bloomberg, Ibrahim Kalin, spokesperson for the Turkish presidency, said the accusations against Turkey include President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s alleged authoritarianism and Ankara undermining the NATO alliance.

"These charges are baseless. They point to a profound failure of understanding and a deliberate dismissal of Turkey’s legitimate security concerns, the regional dynamics in which it operates and the larger geopolitical realities," Kalin wrote.

"The claim that Turkey is no longer a reliable NATO ally is groundless," said Kalin, adding that Turkey plays a crucial role in all major NATO missions, from Kosovo and Bosnia to Lebanon and Afghanistan.

Last week, Washington announced it was taking Turkey out of the F-35 fighter jet program, following the threats to do so over Ankara's purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-air system.

U.S. officials argued the Russian system would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35s to possible Russian subterfuge.

Besides the S-400 purchase, Turkey's exploration for oil and natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean has sparked a string of debates on the European level.

However, Kalin said these two events were not the only issues that have created the current crisis, which he said is "urgent and requires a broader perspective."

"Alliance does not mean monopoly: it does not mean some members are free to impose their agenda on others," said Kalin. "NATO cannot function properly when the security concerns of all members are not taken seriously. Turkey is no exception."

Kalin said Turkey’s security concerns are ignored in a systematic manner and criticized the U.S. and European countries for their insufficient support for Ankara against the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind a bloody defeated coup in 2016.

"Today, both the PKK and the Gulenists work freely out of Western countries. Turkey’s repeated requests for the extradition of the members of these terrorist networks have fallen on deaf ears," said Kalin.

Fetullah Gulen, the FETO terror group’s leader, is a legal resident of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. After years of requesting his extradition, Ankara has accused the U.S. of foot-dragging the process.

Kalin said Obama administration support for the PYD/YPG, the PKK terror group's affiliate in Syria, further harmed the bond of trust between the two allies.

The U.S. has supported the PYD/PYG as “allies” against terrorist groups in Syria, while Turkey has argued that using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.

In its 30-year campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- recognized as a terror group by the U.S., EU, and Turkey -- has taken some 40,000 lives, including many women, children, and infants.

2019.07.22 / 22:54
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