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Erdogan: NATO needs to renew itself, Turkey expects solidarity against terrorism

December 3, 2019 at 1:24 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during the 6th Turkish Medical World Congress in Istanbul, Turkey on 31 October 2019 [Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the renewal of NATO in line with the current international order is inevitable.

Speaking yesterday before departing for a NATO summit in London marking its 70th anniversary, Erdogan also expressed Turkey’s expectation in “unconditional” support from the alliance in the  fight against terror.

Ankara will oppose NATO’s defence plans for the Baltic countries and Poland should the alliance fail to recognise groups which Turkey considers terrorists, such as the Kurdish YPG in Syria, an offshoot of the PKK, Erdogan warned.

Additionally, the Turkish president defended the country’s growing ties with Russia, saying it doesn’t contradict being a member of NATO. In the face of threats of sanction from Washington, Turkey purchased Russian S-400 missile defence systems which also led to the US removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program. Russia Today reported that Turkey had received the first deliveries of Russian gasoline by way of a freshly-built underwater pipeline.

Erdogan’s decision to order a military incursion into Syria, targeting Kurdish armed groups as part of Operation Peace Spring without consulting other NATO members recently prompted his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, to describe NATO as “brain dead”. Erdogan however suggested Macron “check your own brain death”.

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