Erdoğan pushes for support against terrorism at NATO summit
WARSAWTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he pushed for more support for the fight against terrorism at the NATO leaders’ summit in the Polish capital on July 8-9.
“We have insistently emphasized that NATO has to do more than it already does, especially in the fight against terrorism,” Erdoğan told a group of reporters aboard the presidential plane returning to Turkey from Warsaw.
Erdoğan said he emphasized the situation in Syria and Iraq regarding the development of terrorism by presenting evidence at the gathering.
“I brought the Syria topic up very often. Daesh is the topic that is being insistently dwelled on; in fact the thing that is being targeted regarding all terror issues is Daesh,” said Erdoğan, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
He said he especially mentioned the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as well as the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), both of which Turkey regards as offshoots of the PKK and designates as terror organizations.
Erdoğan said there was no ISIL when the U.S. went into Iraq in the early 2000s, saying there was only al-Qaeda and ISIL was the “son of al-Qaeda.”
Meanwhile, Erdoğan also expressed his discomfort with the German parliament’s resolution on the mass killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans a century ago when he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the NATO summit.
“The Turkish president expressed Turkey’s frustration and discomfort with the resolution, while the German chancellor vowed to show the necessary sensitivity required for the move to not cast a shadow over bilateral relations,” Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said.
A source close to the Turkish Presidency said Merkel stressed she would do her utmost to ensure this event would not harm German-Turkish relations, Reuters reported.
In a press conference after the meeting, Merkel said she had talked through German-Turkish differences in a constructive spirit with Erdoğan but the issues had not disappeared.
“We discussed all outstanding issues. The atmosphere was constructive... and very businesslike in an effort to solve the existing conflicts,” Merkel told reporters.
Asked whether they had been resolved, she said: “The differences don’t just disappear through such a discussion. But I believe it was important that we talked them through.”
The German parliament passed the resolution on June 2, causing outrage in Turkey, which denies the accusation. Relations between the two countries have been strained since then, with Ankara withdrawing its ambassador from Berlin.
Meanwhile, Erdoğan conveyed his condolences to U.S. President Barack Obama over the tragic events unfolding in the U.S. recently during the course of the summit.
Separately, the Turkish president told U.K Prime Minister David Cameron he respected the vote of the British people to exit from the European Union.
Erdoğan also met with the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Hungary, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Greece, Georgia, Canada, Latvia, Italy and Bulgaria.