Erdogan says anti-Americanism on rise in Turkey

Erdogan: Anti-Americanism is climbing sharply, though I have nothing to do with it

Erdogan says anti-Americanism on rise in Turkey

Anti-Americanism in Turkey

A demonstrator holds an anti-American placard during a demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, July 1, 2016. Credit: Murad Sezer/Reuters

Excerpt from report in English by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News website on March 09, 2018

Anti-American sentiments in the Turkish public have recently hit the roof because of the US’ support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, the Turkish president has said, amid the two countries’s ongoing talks that aim to ease the severely strained bilateral ties.

“Who will pay the YPG a salary? The United States. When I talk [to the US] about this, they become disturbed. Why are you disturbed? They have been listed in your budget. You have provided them with armoured vehicles and weapons,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech at the Academy of Politics on 9 March.

“What kind of allies are we?” asked Erdogan as he shared his recent conversation with US State Secretary Rex Tillerson in a February meeting in Ankara.

“When I showed him all this on a screen, he complained that ‘anti-Americanism is on the rise in Turkey because you broadcast this sort of information on TVs every day.’ As a matter of fact, anti-Americanism is climbing sharply, though I have nothing to do with it,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan’s statements came as a joint Turkish-American committee continued talks in Washington DC in a bid to resolve outstanding problems between the two allies.

During Tillerson’s visit to Turkey on 15-16 February, three mechanisms were established between Ankara and Washington with a view to contributing to normalising bilateral relations and fixing issues related to Syria, the Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation (FETO) and Iraq.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News website in English,  March 09, 2018
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

US-Turkey relations

“What kind of allies are we?” asked Erdogan

Erdogan criticizes NATO for ‘not supporting Turkey’s Afrin operation’

Excerpt from report in English by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News website on March 11, 2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused NATO of “not supporting” Turkey in its ongoing military operation in the northwestern Syrian district of Afrin, criticising “double standards” in the alliance.

“We have a 911-kilometre border [with Syria] and terrorist organisations are harassing us constantly from this border. The Syrian regime is also taking the same measures. When will you show up?” Erdogan said on 11 March in the northwestern province of Bolu, referring to NATO.

Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” on 20 January aiming to clear Afrin of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara regards as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and a threat to Turkey’s security.

Erdogan said NATO member Turkey sent troops to conflict zones when requested – giving the examples of Somalia, Afghanistan and the Balkan region – but did not receive necessary support for its Afrin mission in return. 66 years of membership

“We were present all these places … But NATO when will you stand behind us?” he said on 11 March, saying Turkey’s borders are “under constant threat.”

“Should I keep saying all these things? We haven’t received any positive response yet,” Erdogan added.

“We now define the forces that we said were our allies and friends according to the actions they take in the field, not by the words they say to us,” he said.

In mid-February, Turkey marked 66 years of NATO membership, and according to the NATO charter an attack on one of the alliance’s members is an attack on them all. ‘900 sq km under control’

Meanwhile, Erdogan also vowed that the ongoing operation is not to “occupy” Afrin but to “liberate it from terrorists” before “handing it over to the people living there.”

“In the Afrin region, the real owners of the lands have started to come back,” he said.

The president also said that an area of over “900 square kilometres” has been brought under control by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Turkish Armed Forces, as they press on to take the centre of Afrin city.

“Since the beginning of the Afrin operation 3,300 terrorists have been neutralised,” he added.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News website in English, March 11, 2018
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Erdogan says Greeks were almost ‘brined’ during 1921 battle with Turks

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan harshly criticised his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos’ remarks about the historical territories of Greece, reported secular opposition daily Sozcu website on 11 March.

“Those who want to refresh their memories should look at their recent history,” Erdogan said at a local congress of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the north-western province of Sakarya.

They “should first read a good history book rather than tales. They should learn very well how they were saved from being brined during the Sakarya Battle [in 1921] and how they left these territories by being driven into the sea,” Erdogan said.

The president was referring to battles fought between the two countries during Turkey’s Independence War in 1919-1922.

Greek forces had to withdraw during the Battle of Sakarya in 1921 marking one of the major turning points in the war.

Erdogan also said that the country “did not have an eye on anyone’s soil or sovereignty” and that it did not approach its neighbours or other countries with hostility.

Pavlopoulos had said on 5 March that “Greece may not have the territory that we would be entitled to historically, but… [it] has a voice and standing in the European Union,” reported Greek Kathimerini newspaper website.

“If history compels us, we will do what our ancestors have done,” he had added.

Earlier, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry had released a statement over the Greek president’s remarks.

“We invite President Pavlopoulos to respect international law and our borders, and to refrain from a rhetoric which is not befitting his position and could cause unnecessary tension,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy had said on 7 March.

Relations between Ankara and Athens have recently seen fresh tensions rising over several issues, including the arrest of Greek soldiers in Turkey, Greece’s drilling efforts in the Mediterranean and the continuing dispute over the Kardak islets in the Aegean.
Source: Sozcu, Istanbul, in Turkish, March 11, 2018
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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