Turkey ‘blocked’ Israeli NATO steps
A Turkish military officer takes a picture of a German military vehicle carrying equipment for NATO Patriot missiles at the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun in Hatay province January 21, 2013. REUTERS photo
Turkey blocked North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) initiatives taken toward the inclusion of Israel in the organization, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 5 to the reporters during his flight to Budapest.
Erdoğan was speaking on the possibility of cultural differences as the cause of the European Union’s five-decade delay, when he said it was possible that the union was “hesitant because the members will not be able to do everything they want when Turkey gets in,” likening the situation to that of NATO.
“Are we not in NATO with these countries?” Erdoğan asked, recalling that Turkey is the only country in the pact with a Muslim population.
“We, as Turkey, would stop wrong steps [in NATO]. Thus, we saw such steps toward Israel’s inclusion in NATO. We prevented that,” Erdoğan said. “We have our own red lines. For us, to be involved in NATO with Israel is never considerable. To be with such a cruel understanding would conflict with our structure, history and culture.”