Advertise On EU-Digest

Anual Advertising Rates

8/11/16

Turkey signals joint defense plan with Russia

Speaking at Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk, Cavusoglu said the previous day’s meeting between Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin had paved the way for closer ties following a nine-month freeze after the shooting down of a Russian warplane.

“The officials will go to St. Petersburg tonight,” Cavusoglu said. “Our delegation will consist of foreign ministry [personnel], the Turkish Armed Forces, along with our intelligence chief.”

Cavusoglu said meetings will be held at ministerial level.

Erdogan’s trip to Russia and the revival of ties between Russia and Turkey have sparked concern that the NATO member is turning increasingly to the East as it feels rebuffed by the West over a host of issues such as EU membership and the West’s tepid response to the defeated July 15 coup.

Questioned about increased cooperation between the Turkish and Russian defense industries in the context of Turkey’s NATO role, Cavusoglu said Ankara had already established defense sector cooperation with non-NATO countries, including missile development.

“Turkey wanted to cooperate with NATO members up to this point,” the minister said. “But the results we got did not satisfy us. Therefore, it is natural to look for other options. But we don’t see this as a move against NATO.”

Referring to the Nov. 24 downing of a Russian warplane over the Turkey-Syria border by the Turkish Air Force, Cavusoglu explained that the Turkish pilots involved in the incident had been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the coup bid.

“Some of the pilots, who were involved in the downed Russian jet incident, are remanded in custody right now,” he said. “This is because of the allegation of being a member of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization [FETO], not because they were involved in the incident. The judiciary will look into the case in every aspect and evaluate.”

No comments: