Turkey’s rapprochement with Russia does not hamper ties with other allies

Turkey’s rapprochement with Russia does not hamper ties with other allies

Turkey’s warming relations with Russia will not hamper its alliance with other countries, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has vowed, saying Ankara will continue to pursue a “multidimensional” foreign policy. “Turkey can simultaneously enhance its relations with countries in the region. In other words, having good relations with one side does not mean that ties with another are on the rocks,” Kurtulmuş told state-run Anadolu Agency on Oct. 12.

Refuting suggestions that Turkey’s recent rapprochement with Russia could worsen ties with its NATO allies, he noted that Turkey is concurrently a member of more than 10 international alliances including NATO, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), while also pursuing European Union membership and being part of the Balkans and the Caucasus.

Kurtulmuş also vowed that Turkish troops will remain at the Bashiqa military camp in northern Iraq until the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is driven out of the nearby city of Mosul.

“Turkey does not move on orders from others ... Turkey’s presence in the Bashiqa camp will remain until Mosul is rid of Daesh,” he said, using an Arabic acronym to refer to ISIL.

The U.S. on Oct. 11 urged Turkey and Iraq to resolve the spat, which could affect the planned U.S.-backed assault on Mosul, the headquarters of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in northern Iraq since 2014. 

Kurtulmuş also warned of a potential armed conflict between the United States andRussia leading to a major regional or global war, saying the era of proxy wars in the Middle East must come to an end. 

The Syrian crisis has come to brink of a wider regional war, he said, claiming that the Syrian regime is one of the “pawns of this proxy war.” 

Kurtulmuş suggested that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has realized this situation and the requirement for peace, as there is no way he or his supporters can win this proxy war.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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