Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned US President Donald Trump’s administration that failure to reverse the “trend of unilateralism and disrespect” will force Turkey to look for new friends and allies. The warning was transmitted to Americans through an opinion piece written by Turkish leader in New York Times on Friday.
US President has announced revised tax tariff for Turkish steel. However, Turkish government believes that the ongoing diplomatic crisis between the two countries over the arrest of Pastor Andrew Brunson was behind tough US moves.
According to Ankara based The Hurriyet Daily, Erdogan recalled the long history of friendly bilateral relations saying, “Unless the United States starts respecting Turkey’s sovereignty and proves that it understands the dangers that our nation faces, our partnership could be in jeopardy.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan likened the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey to Pearl Harbor attack, noting that the U.S. failed to “unequivocally condemn the attack and express solidarity with Turkey’s elected leadership” even after the defeated putsch, while the leader of the alleged coup plotters, Fethullah Gülen, still lives in Pennsylvania, USA.
The Turkish leader also reiterated that U.S. supports the separatist Kurdish group People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is considered by Ankara as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a terrorist organization according to both the countries.
The Pastor Andrew Brunson issue was the last straw, according to Erdoğan. He said, “Instead of respecting the judicial process, as I urged President Trump to do in our many meetings and conversations, the United States issued blatant threats against a friendly nation and proceeded to impose sanctions on several members of my cabinet. This decision was unacceptable, irrational and ultimately detrimental to our longstanding friendship.” he said.
Erdoğan warned US that Ankara “will take care of its own business if the United States refuses to listen,” like it did in the 1970s when the Turkish government stepped in to prevent massacres of ethnic Turks by the Greek Cypriots despite Washington’s objections.
“At a time when evil continues to lurk around the world, unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States, our ally of decades, will only serve to undermine American interests and security. Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives,” Erdoğan concluded.
Within hours of Erdogan’s article was published, his spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin gave clearer message to US administration:
The U.S. runs the risk of losing Turkey as a whole. The entire Turkish public is against U.S. policies that disregard Turkey's legitimate security demands. Threats, sanctions and bullying will not work. It will only increase Turkey's resolve.https://t.co/V0k17gplAy pic.twitter.com/C5XiuWk0eD— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) August 11, 2018