Author : Hurriyet Dailynews
Posted : May 30, 2017
Turkey should maintain its “cautious optimism” toward the European Union, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said amid hints from the government that it will attempt to break the ice with the EU.
“It is our genuine expectation and recommendation from political authorities to defend the just and legitimate stance of the Turkish state without stepping back, especially in the course of a period of cautious optimism,” Bahçeli said in a parliamentary group meeting on May 30.
His comments came after former governmental spokesperson Numan Kurtulmuş said Turkey “wants to leave tension with the European Union behind” following a cabinet meeting on May 29.
“We have not given up the full membership perspective with the EU just because we have added other topics to our agenda,” Kurtulmuş said.
After Ankara and Brussels reached a consensus at a meeting of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Junker on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels on May 25 to revive ties, Bahçeli criticized European institutions for “having a dark record on terrorism.”
“How strange and incoherent it is that last week, the leaders of the G-7 countries, who came together in Italy’s Sicily, reached an agreement on fighting terrorism. Of course, how honest they are in this regard will soon be seen and understood,” Bahçeli said.
Reiterating Ankara’s objection to the presence of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the coalition to fight against the Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, Bahçeli criticized NATO’s participation in the anti-ISIL coalition.
“NATO’s participation in the Raqqa operation will amount to support for the PKK, PYD and YPG in some way, and if not, it will overlook its actions and aims,” Bahçeli said.