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Turkey: US, Russia proxy war on Syria a ‘dangerous path’

Numan Kurtulmuş, who served as the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister between 2014-2017, and then as the Minister of Culture and Tourism [file photo]
Numan Kurtulmuş, who served as the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister between 2014-2017, and then as the Minister of Culture and Tourism [file photo]

Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus on Friday said the proxy war between the US and Russia is a “dangerous path” to take.

Speaking at Istanbul Forum for Arab Journalists in Istanbul, Kurtulmus said: “I am one of those who believe all problems, especially the Syrian problem, will be solved if the forces coming from the outside of the region stop to make calculations on the people of the region.”

Kurtulmus said the proxy war may lead to a “great war” in the world.

“Syria belongs to the people of Syria. The international community is obliged to start a democratic political process in which all the parties in Syria are involved,” he said.

Kurtulmus also said: “Our preference will be in the direction and aspect of a free decision of the people of Syria.”

“But I would like to express that any solution imposed on the people of Syria will not be a solution and would not be accepted by Turkey,” Kurtulmus added.

Kurtulmus went on to say that Turkey has developed close relations, with ups and downs, with the US since the 1950s through NATO.

“Turkey’s relations with Russia were also developed in the same way. They were sometimes good, sometimes tense. Just two-and-a-half years ago our relations were extremely tense due to the Russian plane crash. Today, we are cooperating in many fields, particularly in tourism and energy,” he said

Kurtulmus emphasized that the number one factor that determines the foreign policies of the countries is “national interests”.

He said that the main difference between Turkey and some other countries’ interests were that Turkey’s foreign policy comes through “unity and solidarity“ of the local communities while some other countries’ come by “dividing, wrecking and scattering” local communities even more.

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