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Erdogan criticizes US and UN on Israel: ‘Decisions on paper mean nothing’

Erdogan criticizes US and UN on Israel: 'Decisions on paper mean nothing' Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan talks to media following a cabinet meeting in Ankara, Türkiye, April 26, 2021. (Presidential Press Office)
By Anadolu Agency
Jun 15, 2024 3:27 PM

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking on his return from visits to Italy and Spain, expressed his views on the recent Security Council decision regarding Israel.

He stated, “The Security Council decision is a step, but not sufficient. We all know how many decisions on paper are ignored by Israel. (U.S. President Joe) Biden is now facing a test of sincerity.” These remarks came as President Erdogan responded to questions from journalists on the plane.

President Erdogan highlighted his recent visits to Spain and Italy, specifically mentioning the Türkiye-Spain eighth Government Summit in Madrid from June 12-14. He noted that during the summit’s first day, he had a private dinner with King Felipe VI of Spain, accompanied by Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek.

On the second day of his visit, President Erdogan highlighted the Inter-Governmental High-Level Strategic Council Meeting chaired with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. He mentioned that during the meeting, which involved ministers from both countries, they thoroughly reviewed the relations between Türkiye and Spain in all aspects. “We took important decisions to deepen our cooperation on the basis of a comprehensive partnership that defines our relations. We also opened the business forum attended by businessmen from both countries,” Erdogan said.

With the joint declaration we announced at the end of the summit, we raised our new trade volume target from  20 billion euros ($21.5 billion) to 25 billion euros. Our relations have been strengthened through 12 agreements signed across various sectors.”

Regarding defense industry cooperation with Spain, President Erdogan mentioned TCG Anadolu as a symbol. He added, “We have decided to elevate our collaboration to a higher level through the meetings held. Project studies are underway by the Defense Industry Presidency and our Naval Forces Command on behalf of the Turkish Armed Forces.” President Erdogan also noted Spain’s recognition of Türkiye’s strategic importance within the European Union.

“We conveyed our expectations regarding our full membership process to Prime Minister Sanchez. We also discussed regional issues. The massacre in Gaza was at the top of our agenda. I shared our satisfaction with Spain’s decision to recognize Palestine. Mr. Sanchez’s support for the popular struggle of Palestine against all pressures is commendable. We will continue to act in solidarity with Spain in resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. The European Parliament elections justified our concerns about racist and fascist structures.”

Concerns about Islamophobic and xenophobic trends

Emphasizing that Muslims and immigrants in Europe are facing tougher times ahead, Erdogan stated:

“As two countries implementing the Alliance of Civilizations initiative, we expressed our common concerns about Islamophobic and xenophobic trends. We are entering the 20th year, and we will also prepare jointly for the 20th year in the Alliance of Civilizations. Within the framework of the Alliance of Civilizations, which we will reach its 20th anniversary next year, we will review the opportunities to organize activities that emphasize dialogue and mutual understanding. I believe that our 8th Government Summit and our consultations in Madrid will make significant contributions to strengthening our relations with Spain.”

President Erdogan, after the Madrid visit, mentioned that they also visited Italy at the invitation of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and participated in the Leaders Summit hosted by Italy, the G7 presidency, where they shared their views during the High-Level Sessions on Africa and the Mediterranean, as well as Artificial Intelligence and Energy.

Erdogan stated that they exchanged ideas on the multidimensional threats and challenges facing the region, saying: “I once again clearly stated that the existing international system and institutions are failing to fulfill their primary duties in Gaza. I pointed out that it is possible to live in a much fairer world that listens to the voices of the oppressed. During the summit, I also held bilateral meetings with some G7 and guest country leaders. In my address at the summit, I called once again for an urgent and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid. I hope that our discussions and decisions will lead to good outcomes.”

‘Spain has proven to be a beacon of light’

President Erdogan, responding to a journalist’s question about what the trade and cultural connections between Türkiye and Spain, especially their joint positions on Palestine, promise for both countries, the world, and humanity, said: “It is pleasing to see that our feelings, concerns, and objections are shared with Spain in the face of Israel’s massacres that disregard international law. Especially regarding the recognition of Palestine as a state, Spain has proven to be a beacon of light for humanity’s ship in pitch darkness. Its compelling calls to humanity’s conscience and its courageous and resolute actions have underscored this. However, for humanity’s ship to continue its journey without incident, we need new lighthouses. Our alignment with Spain on the Palestine issue is important for this reason. Spain is, of course, a member of the European Union and also a country we are together within NATO.

Its courageous stance in support of Palestine’s just resistance against Israel’s disregard for international law and subsequent unraveling of some European countries’ support is of great importance. I believe that Spain’s stance on the recognition of Palestine as a state will lead to unraveling among states that support Israel one way or another. Indeed, in the brief discussions I had with Sanchez, there were approaches indicating ‘this will continue.’ For humanity to pass the Palestine test it faces, more countries, in my opinion, need to courageously say ‘stop’ to Israel and stand for peace. But when countries like Spain take this step, the number of countries standing for peace will hopefully increase. Both Spain and other friendly countries, including ourselves, should continue to promise peace to humanity and increase our efforts for it.”

“Nearly 150 countries thought like us and stood by Palestine”

When asked about his thoughts on the implementation of the United Nations Security Council’s cease-fire decision regarding Gaza, Erdogan responded, “If you pay attention to the steps taken by the United Nations Security Council so far, the United States has always been the intersection point. Here, most likely, it will be the same again. This is precisely the point our ‘The World is bigger than Five’ thesis indicates.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the United States for blocking decisions at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) concerning Israel. He expressed concern that the US might obstruct a ceasefire decision regarding the ongoing conflict. Erdogan emphasized the significance of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) decisions, noting that nearly 150 countries supported Palestine in recent votes. He urged for further action to influence the UNSC, suggesting that this could restore the UN’s damaged reputation caused by countries like Israel.

Erdogan argued that stopping Israel’s actions is crucial for ensuring peace in Gaza and protecting international law and human rights. He called on UNSC members to recognize Palestine as a state, stating that a two-state solution is the path to lasting peace in the region. Erdogan warned that the U.N. risks becoming ineffective like the League of Nations if it fails to address these issues. He stressed the need for the UNSC to take decisive action to restore the organization’s credibility and achieve peace.

‘US also disturbed by Israel’s increasing arrogance’

When asked by a journalist whether Israel would comply with the three-phase cease-fire plan announced by U.S. President Joe Biden, President Erdogan responded that he was initially pleased with the announcement. However, he noted that it is insufficient to shift the support of the five permanent members of the UNSC toward Palestine. Erdogan highlighted the need for special attention to this matter, suggesting that the United States is also disturbed by Israel’s increasing arrogance. He pointed out that despite the American administration’s reluctance to openly express this discomfort, the rising voices from American universities, streets, students, and rectors indicate a transformation that bothers Israel.

Erdogan expressed hope that the upcoming U.S. elections could create a different atmosphere. He referenced statements made after Biden’s announcement and those from various countries, emphasizing the importance of taking the right steps together. Erdogan called for decisions from the UNSC to develop in a new direction, stressing that Biden must prove the cease-fire plan is a sincere effort to end the massacres in Palestine rather than an election ploy. He acknowledged that while a Security Council decision is a step forward, it is not sufficient, as many decisions on paper have been ignored by Israel. Erdogan concluded by stating that Biden is now undergoing a test of sincerity.

On MHP leader Bahceli’s statement

President Erdogan remarked, “(MHP leader) Devlet Bey’s statement was made with the approach of a statesman, calmly, without giving room for any debate. Closing the issue in this manner, in my opinion, is quite appropriate.”

During his return from visits to Italy and Spain, President Erdogan made statements and answered questions from journalists on the plane.

On Syria’s alleged election by terrorist organizations

In response to a question about the postponed but not canceled so-called election by a terrorist organization in Syria, and Türkiye’s potential stance if the election is attempted again, Erdogan said, “There is no election in question, let’s clarify that first. What we have here is a scheme to legitimize a terrorist organization and establish a ‘terroristan’ in the region.”

Highlighting their adeptness at disrupting such schemes in the past, Erdogan said: “Moreover, the Syrian regime will not allow them to take comfortable steps or move freely in this matter. Our Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan was in Moscow. He discussed these issues extensively with (Russia’s President Vladimir) Putin and had meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The PKK terrorist organization and others will not have the opportunity to move freely in Syria, God willing. If such a situation arises, we will mobilize our relevant units as necessary. We will not allow a ‘terroristan’ at our doorstep. We will do whatever is necessary without hesitation.”

On importance of Eurofighter

In response to a question about the Eurofighter issue and whether Germany’s blockade could be overcome, President Erdogan shared insights from his discussions during the visit. He mentioned that he discussed the matter with Sanchez, noting the importance of Spain’s training aircraft and their potential provision to Türkiye. Erdogan also requested Sanchez’s assistance in reaching out to Germany regarding the Eurofighter issue, and Sanchez expressed willingness to facilitate such a meeting.

Erdogan highlighted the significance of the Eurofighter for Türkiye and noted that Germany has recently softened its stance on the issue. Relevant Turkish ministers are in ongoing discussions with their German counterparts. Erdogan emphasized that Türkiye’s primary approach is to meet its defense needs from NATO allies. However, he assured that Türkiye has alternatives if the process yields a negative result. He pointed to the successful flight of the KAAN, Türkiye’s domestically produced aircraft, and mentioned that with the start of mass production and inventory completion, Türkiye will not face any issues. He recalled a similar situation with unmanned aerial vehicles in the past, where Türkiye could not obtain them from allies but eventually produced high-quality drones that are now sought after by many countries.

On rise of far-right and racist parties in Europe

When asked about the rise of far-right and racist parties in Europe and how this might affect Türkiye-EU relations, Erdoğan responded, “Currently, if I say that the indicator is in our favor regarding the steps we will take with EU member countries, I wouldn’t be exaggerating.”

Erdogan pointed out that many of the parties participating in the European Parliament elections acknowledge Türkiye’s justified stance. He cited Spain’s Prime Minister Sanchez and Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz as examples of leaders with a positive stance toward Türkiye.

“We will continue our efforts. Türkiye has advantages in Germany, England, and France. We will continue to test these opportunities by maintaining a strong stance,” Erdogan said.

On Türkiye’s new constitution

Responding to a question about the possibility of Türkiye creating a modern and civil new constitution, Erdogan emphasized the importance of moving beyond the current constitution, which has remnants of a coup.

“The main reason for these visits is to see if we can meet with CHP under the heading of creating a new constitution,” Erdoğan said.

He expressed disappointment over the unexpected developments a few days after initial positive responses from CHP. “Türkiye needs to rid itself of the shame of a coup constitution. This is a primary duty of the political institution and Parliament to the nation. No political party can evade this obligation,” Erdogan added.

On combating inflation

Regarding policies to combat inflation, Erdogan said they would wait for the last quarter of the year to see the full impact. He emphasized the importance of maintaining strict measures and the correlation between inflation and interest rates.

“We are currently keeping a tight rein,” President Erdogan stated. “With the steps we will take in interest rates, we will move inflation to a much more favorable position in the last quarter. Our policies aimed at balancing the economy are yielding results. The current account deficit has significantly decreased. Our annual exports have exceeded $260 billion as of May, and imports are decreasing similarly. Our central bank reserves have reached a record high of $146.2 billion, and this increase will continue. We will not tolerate those who exploit high prices and profiteering, which are among the reasons for the cost of living. We will manage this critical process with great sensitivity, maintaining fiscal discipline and promoting savings in the public sector, while increasing inspections,” Erdogan concluded.

Last Updated:  Jun 19, 2024 11:12 AM