Europe has ‘serious leadership crisis,’ Erdoğan says
“When we look at the current leaders, we sit, we talk, but we go a little harder. There are such leaders who do not have secret agendas, but there are so many leaders that have secret agendas. When we come to Europe, there is now a serious crisis in leadership. I can’t say that any particular leader sets example,” he said, speaking at the Human Rights Day event.
“Who I liked in the early days of my prime ministry was the chancellor of Germany, [Gerhard] Schroeder. After his tenure, [Angela] Merkel used all the efficiency of the reforms,” Erdoğan said.
In the same period, Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, despite all the controversy, had a capacity in terms of cooperation, the president stated.
“There are leaders in Africa that we can have cooperation with, but still Europe is not aware of this,” he said, not naming those leaders.
“Most recently, whether you like him or not, [U.S. President Donald] Mr. Trump is a very important person. No secret agenda, no secret. He expresses what he knows very clearly, speaks to me very frankly and I tell him very openly,” Erdoğan noted.
The president also welcomed the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Another name is Putin. We do not have any secret agenda in our bilateral meetings with him. We will ensure peace in the region together, hopefully,” he said.
Elaborating on Turkey’s maritime boundaries deal with Libya, Erdoğan recalled that a step was taken on the issue long ago, but it could not be proceeded due to then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s death.
Asked if Turkey would send military forces to Libya, Erdoğan said Russian support was given to military commander Khalifa Haftar with mercenaries and said Turkey may send a “sufficient amount” of troops to Libya if Tripoli requests.
“If Libya demands, we can send in the same way following the military agreement we signed. There is no obstacle after we signed this agreement,” Erdoğan said.
“The Security and Military Cooperation” and “Restriction of Marine Jurisdictions” agreements were signed between the two countries.
Erdoğan to decline Nobel Prize if awarded
Erdoğan also said he would decline the Nobel Peace Prize if he is awarded one day. Turkey would “certainly” not participate in the Nobel ceremony, saying that awarding such a “killer” amounts to complicity in oppression, said Erdoğan, referring to the awarding of Nobel Prize to Peter Handke, who is accused of denying the Bosnian genocide and being an admirer of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.