Turkey’s ties with Russia are too strong to be broken by France’s president, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Monday, after Emmanuel Macron said Ankara’s support of missile strikes on Syria showed it had “separated” from Russia.
“The French president’s [Emmanuel Macron] statements were refuted by various countries. We expect statements that befit a president. Before the tripartite [Syria] summit was held in Ankara, Macron had said that he wanted to join. Our president [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] called [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. Russia accepted and Iran said to hold a trilateral summit, and then to hold a 3+1 meeting later. When he [Macron] was not included in the tripartite summit, he did not come. We should not have been put in a position to explain all of this, but the truth must be told,” Çavuşoğlu said.
At a joint news conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu added that Turkey’s relations with Russia were not an alternative to its ties with NATO, France and the United States.
Macron: With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks
French President Emmanuel Macron confessed in an interview that joint strikes conducted by France, Britain and the United States targeted Turkey’s relations with Russia.“With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks on this. The Turks condemned the chemical weapons,” Macron said in an interview broadcasted by BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news.France, Britain and the U.S. launched over 100 missiles early on Saturday targeting what they said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in response to a suspected poison gas attack in Eastern Ghouta’s Douma on April 7 that killed at least 78 people.Turkey says not siding with anyone on Syria, policy different from Iran, Russia, USFrance convinced US to ‘stay in Syria’: MacronMacron said that the strikes were “perfectly carried out,” adding “All of our missiles reached their target.”The French president stated that Russia, which is one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s staunchest allies, was complicit in the Syrian government’s actions.”Of course they [Russia] are complicit. They have not used chlorine themselves, but they have methodically built the international community’s inability to act through diplomatic channels to stop the use of chemical weapons,” Macron said of Moscow.Turkey says not siding with anyone on Syria, policy different from Iran, Russia, USHe added that he had convinced U.S. President Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria for the long term.“Ten days ago, President Trump was saying ‘the United States should withdraw from Syria’. We convinced him it was necessary to stay. We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term,” Macron said.Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.America has three goals in Syria: US’ HaleyAfter Syria strikes, Britain’s May to face critical parliamentAssad apologists work in UK universities: ReportPutin, Rouhani discuss US-led airstrikes on Syria
Çavuşoğlu’s comments came after Macron confessed in an interview that joint strikes conducted by France, Britain and the United States targeted Ankara’s relations with Moscow.
“With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks on this. The Turks condemned the chemical weapons,” Macron said in an interview broadcasted by BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news.
“We are against chemical weapons, and we have requested that the regime [of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] be punished every time. We sought for evidence to be collected. Turkey has a cooperation with Iran and Russia that started with Astana and Sochi. The aim of this cooperation is to ensure a ceasefire and contribute to the political period,” said Çavuşoğlu.
“During this period, we have thought differently than these two countries regarding the regime. We can’t end our cooperation in other fields because we differed. We are not going to give up our principled attitude about the regime because we have cooperation. We may have differing stances, but our relations with Russia are too strong to be severed by the French president. We have to keep our relations with each country strong,” he added.
Turkey says not siding with anyone on Syria, policy different from Iran, Russia, US
Turkey does not stand with or against any country on Syria and its policy in the region is different from that of Iran, Russia and the United States, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Monday.The comments by Bozdağ, the government spokesman, were in response to a reporter’s question about an earlier remark from French President Emmanuel Macron, who said Turkey’s support of missile strikes against Syria showed it had “separated” from Russia.The United States, Britain and France fired more than 100 missiles at Syria on Friday in a “one-time shot” the Pentagon said followed evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for a chemical weapons attack using at least chlorine gas.”Turkey’s Syria policy isn’t to stand with or against any country. There is no change to the policy Turkey has been carrying out,” Bozdağ told reporters in Qatar.Macron: With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks”We do not have a united policy with the United States on the YPG issue, and Turkey’s stance has not changed. We are also against the unconditional support for the (Syrian) regime and we are at odds with Iran and Russia on this,” he said.While Turkey is cooperating with both Russia and Iran to wind down some of the violence in Syria, Ankara has long demanded that President Bashar al-Assad must go and has backed rebels against him. Assad’s main supporters are Moscow and Tehran.Turkey has also been at loggerheads with Washington over U.S. support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The YPG is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.Turkey supported the air strikes by U.S., British and French forces, saying the move sent a message to Assad.Bozdağ said Turkey did not hesitate to work together with any country who defended “correct principles” on Syria.After Syria strikes, Britain’s May to face critical parliamentWhite House: Trump wants US forces in Syria to come home as quickly as possibleFrance convinced US to ‘stay in Syria’: Macron
NATO welcomes Turkey’s “transparency” in Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin
“[Foreign] Minister Çavuşoğlu briefed me on Operation Olive Branch, and I am grateful for Turkey’s continued transparency on this,” said NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg
“We want more support from NATO in our struggle against terror. Turkey has given great support to NATO until today, and will continue to do so, but we expect NATO’s support of Turkey,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and regional matters were discussed during their meeting.
“This is my seventh visit to Ankara. Turkey is the NATO member I visit the most. This is a sign of the importance placed on Turkey as an ally. Turkey supports NATO actively in Afghanistan. Turkey works very hard for our alliance, and has a great input to our fight against Daesh. No other NATO ally has suffered as many terrorist attacks as Turkey, and you are the ally most exposed to the instability in this region,” said NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg.
Erdoğan: Our aim is to make Syria safe and livable
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday called for a more comprehensive notion of justice to prevail in Syria, stating that the deaths caused by conventional weapons should not be ignored.“How can there be justice if we put those killed with conventional aside and only focus on chemical weapons? We are calling for the foundations of global peace to be laid, and for bombs not to be rained down on these countries. Our aim is to make Syria safe and livable,” Erdoğan said.Erdoğan’s comments came after France, Britain and the U.S. launched over 100 missiles early on Saturday targeting what they said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in response to a suspected poison gas attack in Eastern Ghouta’s Douma on April 7 that killed at least 78 people.Turkey says not siding with anyone on Syria, policy different from Iran, Russia, USTurkey’s cross-border operationsThe president also touched on the success of Turkey’s military operations, adding that they would continue to ensure safety.“Turkey does not have its sights set on anyone else’s land. Our operations have two goals; the first is to abolish the threats targeting our country, and the second is to create a safe, peaceful and habitable area for Syrians living in our country,” Erdoğan said.Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region. On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin town center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.Turkish army neutralizes 38 terrorists in one weekTurkey welcomes Syrians with open arms“We will continue to host refugees whether we receive funding or not,” Erdoğan said.Turkey has accepted some 3.5 million refugees from Syria. The EU says it has allocated all of the 3 billion euros ($3.7 bln) it had promised Turkey for 2016-17, though less than 2 billion of that had so far been disbursed due to procedural issues, which Ankara sees as petty.Russia to study draft UN resolution on Syria proposed by US, France, UKHuge targets need huge reformsErdoğan said Turkey would provide considerable support to entrepreneurs as “huge targets” needed “huge reforms”. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul, he mentioned that the new airport in Istanbul and Turkey’s first indigenous car projects highlighted the country’s strong sense of entrepreneurship.”This airport was built by five entrepreneurs who were encouraged by the Turkish government,” he said.The airport, which is expected to open this year, has the potential to welcome 90 million passengers annually.He touched on the indigenous car project which will be produced by another consortium — Anadolu Group, BMC, Turkcell, Kiraca and Zorlu.”The spirit of the entrepreneurship is not ordinary. We will able to produce our own planes like the indigenous car. Ideals come true with dreams,” he said.NATO chief arrives in Turkey for official talksMacron: With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region. On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin town center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.