Defense minister: Russian thaw not against NATO

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 12.08.2016 22:16
Updated 12.08.2016 22:17

Defense Minister Fikri Işık said that the renewed cooperation between Turkey and Russia does not imply retaliatory action against NATO or any other country. Speaking in a televised interview on Friday, Işık said: "After [Turkey's] downing of the Russian aircraft, relations were shaped in a way not to escalate existing tensions. This tension is more or less relieved as a result of the meeting between the two presidents. It was agreed to find a common ground to resolve the Syrian issue. The eradication of DAESH is Turkey's most sincere desire. The relieved tensions will definitely be advantageous."

Indicating that statements from NATO member countries that try to excuse or justify the coup attempt in Turkey are unacceptable, Işık said: "Every NATO member country has to think about what brings them together. If democracy is the common ground, it is unacceptable to disregard the champions of democracy, the people."

Işık also relayed the latest developments regarding fugitive military personnel. "There are 133 generals, three military attaches and 162 military personnel of various rank on the run," Işık said, adding: "We are in contact with the Italian government about two fugitive military attaches who have left their post in Greece. We know that all three of the military attaches, along with one general, are abroad."

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