Language of sanctions never work for Turkey: Presidential spokesperson

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European politicians should see that the language of sanctions does not deter Turkey, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Sept. 20, elaborating on the upcoming summit of the European Union on Sept. 24-25.

“Sanctions against Turkey and the language of blackmail and threats will never yield success. European politicians should have seen this by now. Those who think that will scare Turkey or that it will give up its determination are in a futile effort,” Kalın said in an interview with Demirören News Agency.

Turkey has other alternatives, Kalın said. “Turkey is a country that wants to develop good ties with Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, along with other countries and regions of the world. But this should not lead us to political naivety.”

Recalling that the Turkish leadership has been carrying on discussions with European politicians both for “launching exploratory talks” with Greece, also for “shaping the agenda of EU summit on Sept. 24-25,” Kalın said, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will have further talks this week.

Erdoğan will have phone conversations and videoconference meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel, along with other EU officials, this week, the spokesperson said.

These discussions aim to “calm the tension down in the region,” Kalın stated, emphasizing that Turkey is ready to have talks with Greece without any preconditions.

Reminding that the exploratory talks with Greece started in 2002 and lasted 60 rounds, Kalın said the process was stalled over the decision of the Tsipras government in 2016.

“At this point, the climate has become much more suitable for the start of these negotiations. In the near term, our talks on this issue will continue, exploratory talks may start again. Of course, this will have positive reflections on the EU summit here,” he stated.

The spokesperson underlined that there are some actors in Europe, “such as France,” which conducts policy against Turkey, and so that aims to appeal its domestic politics.

On the other hand, countries such as Italy, Spain, Malta, Romania, Poland, and Hungary, persistently argue Turkey is a political interlocutor that must be heeded.

Elaborating on French President Emmanuel Macron’s tweet in Turkish, the spokesperson said it was “a nice, sympathetic step,” but its meaning is more important than words.

“It is also necessary to look at what is meant and in what political-strategic framework it fits,” Kalın said. Macron “does not read world politics correctly. Eurocentric politics is now left behind,” he added.

“Especially, it is no longer possible to manage a France-based Francophone-centered world politics. It needs to accurately read the new dynamics of world politics and all its actors,” the spokesperson noted.

Kalın said an EU member country taking steps to risk both NATO’s southern security and the security and stability of North Africa and the Mediterranean in this way is “astonishing.”

The EU summit will have an agenda regarding Turkey on three topics: The upgrading of the Customs Union, the upgrading of the migrant deal between the EU and Turkey and the visa liberalization process, Kalın said, stressing that Ankara expects progress on these issues.

Hurriyet Daily News

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