Ankara is not turning towards the East, but it has some serious differences with the West, Akif Çagatay Kılıç told RT.
Turkey will not leave NATO, but will strengthen its trade and diplomatic relations with other world and regional powers if it benefits the Turkish people, MP and head of the parliament’s foreign relations committee Akif Çagatay Kılıç said in an exclusive interview with RT on Saturday. .
Turkey has been a member of the US-led NATO alliance since 1952. Repeated polls since 2016, however, show that 90% of the Turkish population sees the US as a potential enemy, while about three-quarters favor maintaining good relations. Russia.
“The United States, in our opinion, has and is still doing some things that harm Turkey’s geopolitical position and also our security.” Kilic explained, citing Washington’s support for Kurdish militias in Syria as an example. Ankara considers these groups, PKK, YPG and PYD, to be terrorist organizations.
The Turkish people also have doubts “US Involvement” in “Military coups we’ve had in the past.” Kilic went on to address the 2016 attempt by followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and a number of military groups to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both Gulen and the US government have denied any role in the coup attempt, but Turkish officials, including Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, continue to blame Washington.
“Those ideas are not helped by the fact that a few years later we found out that the US is actively interfering in other countries.” Kilic stated. “The US needs to work on people’s perception of the United States.”
Despite these differences, Kilic said that Turkey sees NATO as a country “important alliance” which leads “Very serious.”
Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in Turkey on Sunday. In the Western press, the battle between Erdogan and leading rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is being portrayed as between an incumbent who would abandon the West in favor of closer ties with Russia and China, and a challenger who would reform the country in the process. Brussels and Washington.
Kilicdaroglu has been open about his desire to limit his own executive power and implement EU-mandated reforms, while Turkey’s relationship with Russia has strengthened under Erdogan’s watch. However, Kilic insists that his country is not experiencing a major eastward shift.
“The world system is changing” he said. “There are certain areas where you have to act alone, where you have to act with allies, and where you have to act with different countries, neighboring countries.”
“We are not moving” he continued. “The first responsibility we have is towards our people, our country. We are trying to protect our own interests.”
Turkey’s geographical proximity to Ukraine, Russia, Syria and Iran means that it should seek stable relations with the US’s enemies, Kılıç explained, noting that. “We can’t act like we’re an ocean away. This is the reality.”
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