Erdoğan slams EU, NATO over lack of support
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized the European Union for prolonging Türkiye’s accession process without reason and NATO for not lending enough support in the country’s fight against terror.
“We perfectly know the reason why the EU is keeping Türkiye away from its doors for almost 60 years while accepting countries which can compete with us in terms of economic and democratic standards,” Erdoğan said in his address at the graduation ceremony of the War Academy in Istanbul late on Aug. 31.
Türkiye has been a candidate country to the EU since 1999 and negotiating for the accession since 2005. But the accession process has been stalled in the past years.
Recalling ongoing tension with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean, Erdoğan described Greece as the pawn of those who want to stir up trouble against Türkiye. The president referred to three separate incidents in which the Greek warplanes and Crete-based S-300 air defense systems harassed Turkish F-16s carrying out NATO missions in the region. Türkiye is taking the radar images of the S-300 harassment to NATO.
Erdoğan also criticized NATO for not lending the support Türkiye needed in the context of the decade-old Syrian crisis although the alliance deployed forces where the threat was not that imminent. He also criticized the West for not acknowledging the effective fight Türkiye had conducted against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Türkiye is no longer a country whose destiny can be decided by others, Erdoğan said “When we came to power our national defense industry could meet only 20 percent of our needs. This is now 80 percent. We are now able to produce our own weapons and ammunition.”
Türkiye is patrolling its seas with our own corvettes and frigates, the president said “We now have our drones, armed drones. We now have Akıncı drones and Gökbey helicopters and we are now the frightening trouble of our enemies with all these weapons.”
Türkiye still has some problems but has enough resources to resolve all of them, Erdoğan added.