Turkish president calls on NATO to ‘do more against terror’
ANKARANATO allies should show more solidarity in the fight against global terror, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, stressing that the alliance’s role in the anti-terror struggle will constitute one of most important items of the May 25 Summit in Brussels.
“Solidarity is the only antidote of terror. Sharing intelligence on a real time basis is a must and NATO should give more support to allied countries,” Erdoğan told reporters at a press conference before his departure to attend the NATO Summit.
NATO members are expected to discuss how the alliance can lend more support to the fight against terror and whether or not it should institutionally be part of an international coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Erdoğan noted that the summit comes at a moment when the world is struggling with a number of global problems such as migration and cybercrime.
“All these asymmetric threats are seriously threatening both national and international security. Among all these threats, terror comes first. There is a need for a determined, principled and consistent approach. In particular, all NATO allies are obliged to be in full solidarity and cooperation,” he said.
The recent terror attacks in St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Paris and Manchester show that terrorism is a global, not regional problem, Erdoğan added.
“This reality needs to be acknowledged: Terror is not a single country’s problem, but a problem of the entire world. Global issues should be addressed with the cooperation of everyone,” he said, complaining that a number of countries “are still making distinctions” between terror groups.
‘We say goodbye to Germans’
On a question over Germany’s possible plans to remove its troops from the İncirlik base, after Turkey has been blocking the visit of German lawmakers, Erdoğan recalled statements from the German authorities that there would be no relocation of troops.
“But if they want to do something like that [removal of troops], it’s not going to be an important problem for us. If they leave then we’ll just say ‘goodbye,’” he said.
On another question about Turkey’s veto on Austrian participation in NATO programs, Erdoğan replied with just one sentence: “Those who block will be blocked.”
Ankara recently rejected neutral Austria’s participation in some NATO programs, citing Vienna’s “constant anti-Turkish position” at every European Union platform.