İYİ Party leader voices support for Ukraine’s self-defense
Turkish people, who had defended their country against the occupying forces in the aftermath of the First World War, understand the struggle Ukrainians are going through in protecting their lands against the Russian occupation, the İYİ (Good) Party leader has said.
“That’s why our hearts are beating for another nation. It is us who understand best the struggle given by Ukraine. I respectfully salute the brave sons of Ukraine. We are with them in their struggle for the freedom and sovereignty of their country,” Meral Akşener said at a weekly meeting of her parliamentary group on March 2.
Russia is targeting Ukraine’s cities and residential areas, and that’s an attempt of occupying an independent state, Akşener said, adding: “Because Russian President [Vladimir] Putin does not recognize the will of Ukrainian people. He does not respect its political sovereignty. He is trying to establish his rule through a trustee governor [in Ukraine].”
Turkey’s relationship with Russia offers an asymmetrical advantage to the latter due to Turkey’s purchase of S-400s from Russia, the Syrian conflict, Russia’s construction of Turkey’s nuclear plant and heavy dependence on Russian tourists, Akşener said.
“This asymmetry puts Turkey into a fragile situation. Let me give you an example. As can be recalled, Mr. [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan called on NATO to act more decisively over the Ukraine crisis. He criticized NATO for not doing enough. On the same day, there was a vote in Strasbourg over Russia’s status at the Council of Europe. What happened there? Turkey abstained from the vote in which only Armenia expressed support to Russia,” she recalled.