Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday rejected claims that his country is changing the axis of its foreign policy, Anadolu Agency reports on the 1st of October.
“Some circles tried to present our foreign policy initiatives as a ‘pivot shift.’ However, Turkey is not conducting an axis shift; it is strengthening its own axis while at the same time having different diplomatic relations in the world based on our national interests,” the head of state told parliament.
Located at the crossroads of three continents, Turkey is significantly affected by global developments, he noted.
“Turkey does not have the luxury of closing in on itself, isolating itself from the outside world and watching events in its region by sitting on the fence,” added the president of our southeastern neighbor.
Erdogan described Ankara’s policy as “constructive and active,” taking the initiative in solving global and regional problems.
He stressed that Ankara is not “seeking escalation” with other countries, nor will it “give in to pressure, regardless of where it comes from.”
“We resolutely defend Turkey’s rights in all fields with an honorable, patient, decisive and prudent attitude,” he said, promising not to harm the nation’s dignity.
Regarding the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, Erdogan said that Turkey has chosen peace, dialogue and is an “honest arbiter.”
“Given our close relations with both countries, we preferred to strive to end the war instead of fanning the flames and inciting unrest,” the Turkish president stressed.
“The UN, whose prestige was shaken due to its inadequacy in the face of global crises, has registered one of its greatest achievements in recent years through this agreement, the result of our country’s intensive efforts,” Erdogan said.
In addition, he said, the recent prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine initiated by Ankara has elevated Turkish diplomacy to a “much higher league”.
“In our contacts on the occasion of the 77th UN General Assembly, we were happy to see the level reached by Turkish diplomacy. We have personally witnessed that the steps taken by our country in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the problem of migration, humanitarian aid, the fight with terrorism and peacekeeping won the appreciation of the whole world,” the head of state added.
Addressing the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the Turkish president emphasized that it is home to two separate countries and peoples.
Erdogan stressed that the isolation and embargo on the island must be ended and that all promises of international recognition for Turkish Cypriots must be kept.
He also reiterated Turkey’s refusal to accept the recent US decision to lift the arms embargo on the Greek Cypriot administration in southern Cyprus.
“The encouragement shown to Greece, which is arming islands with a demilitarized status in the Aegean Sea, goes against all common sense, convictions,” Erdogan said, adding that it also goes against “the idea of a union.”
“On every occasion we repeat that we know who is leading Greece once again after 100 years and that we are aware of the game being played,” he added.
Erdogan called on the Greek leadership to refrain from provocations that would lead him and his people to disaster.