Turkey has long been a trustworthy member of NATO and it would continue to fulfil all of its obligations and commitments, a senior Turkish diplomat said on Monday.
Ali Kemal Aydin, Turkish ambassador to Berlin, made the remarks during a panel discussion on “NATO’s future, unity, and cohesion”, organized by the German Atlantic Association.
“We have been in NATO for about seven decades. We have been a reliable, a strong member of the alliance,” Aydin said, stressing that Ankara will continue to fully meet its commitments and obligations.
The ambassador underlined the vital role of NATO to safeguard security of all its members, and expressed Ankara’s desire for a closer dialogue and solidarity among the member states.
He said countries should not bring any bilateral dispute into the alliance.
– Turkey-Greece tensions
Responding to criticism by a French diplomat, who blamed Ankara for recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aydin said France should change its course and adopt a constructive approach, for the benefit of all NATO allies.
“My advice to our French ally is just to be impartial and encourage the Greeks for a viable and a just solution,” he said.
Showing a map to the audience illustrating excessive and unilateral claims by Greece
in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, Aydin said these claims violate the sovereign rights of Turkey.
“They are trying to turn the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean into a Greek lake, and confining Turkey to only Antalya bay. Is that acceptable? Do you think that Turkey is going to accept such a map? No, of course not,” he said.
– Macron’s support to Greece
The Turkish envoy sharply criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for siding with Greece in a bilateral dispute with Turkey and for even sending warplanes and ships to the region.
“France is adding fuel to the fire. That is dangerous,” he said.
“You might have some problems [with Turkey] in Syria, and in Libya, in some other parts. But please do not bring your bilateral issues to NATO,“ he added.
Aydin underlined that Turkey has long been in favor of resolving all the outstanding problems with Greece through dialogue and negotiation.
He thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her efforts to de-escalate tensions, and find a diplomatic solution.
“We appreciate the role of Germany as the EU president […] They are trying to facilitate talks between us and the Greeks,” he added.
Source: Anadolu Agency