Turkish, UK defense chiefs confirm common interests
Turkey and Britain share views on many important issues, and joint action would promote these shared interests, as confirmed by a visit by Turkey’s defense chief to the U.K., said an official statement on April 9.
Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar this week paid a three-day official visit to London at the invitation of British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, said a Turkish National Defense Ministry statement.
Akar and Wallace visited the Prince of Wales aircraft carrier and examined the ship, the statement added.
During the visit, Akar and Wallace exchanged views on bilateral and regional issues including developments in the Black Sea, Eastern Mediterranean, Afghanistan, and NATO, according to the statement.
The defense chiefs confirmed that Turkey and the UK share common and similar views on many issues, and agreed that joint efforts would help protect their bilateral rights and interests and those of the NATO alliance.
“Possible efforts to increase defense industry cooperation were evaluated,” the statement added.
During the meetings, Akar also said that although the U.K. has taken some steps to crack down on the terrorist group PKK, more are expected, the statement added.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
Saying that the U.K. is one of the countries where the FETÖ is active, Akar stressed that Turkey should be assisted in its fight against FETÖ and concrete steps must be taken.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.