“Even if Europe and the U.S. are completely destroyed in democracy and economy, we will continue to develop our nation. We are determined to show the same struggle for our friends, whether based on historical ties or new relationships with ourselves. This model is of Turkey’s. You cannot find such a sincere ideal of democracy, rights and justice [elsewhere],” Erdoğan told a group of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) provincial heads.
The AKP has worked to overcome the “lack of democracy and development that emerged due to negligence and betrayal” in the past, he said, noting that his party has developed the strength and abilities to reach out to people across the country.
“As a country that develops and gets stronger, we have raised the bar much higher. In line with this vision, which aims to become one of the 10 largest countries in the world, we have made even greater strides,” Erdoğan stated.
Erdoğan responded to the domestic criticisms on Turkey’s foreign policy regarding Syria, Libya, France and the eastern Mediterranean.
“Some in our country are persistently trying to pull us into their shallow waters. We will not fall into this trap,” Erdoğan said. “They say, ‘Why is Turkey involved in Syria, Libya, the eastern Mediterranean, Africa, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia?”
“If Turkey does not see the games there, will everything return to normal in Iraq? If there is no Turkey in Libya, will the putschists leave the power to the legitimate administration? If Turkey relinquishes all its rights, will the EU try to keep its promises by abandoning the long-standing double standards?” Erdoğan said.
Referring to French President Emmanuel Macron, who has “tried to block” Turkey’s foreign policy goals, he said, “If Turkey steps back, will France end its political drift caused by its leader and turn to a responsible policy?”
“If all of these questions can be answered with a realistic and sincere ‘yes,’ it would become necessary for us to review the policy we follow,” said Erdoğan.
Hurriyet Daily News