US' 'threatening' language unacceptable, Turkey's National Security Council says

Published 30.07.2018 21:18
Updated 31.07.2018 00:05
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The United States' use of a threatening language against Turkey is unacceptable and disrespectful, given the ties and trust relationship between the two allies, Turkey's National Security Council (MGK) said in a statement on Monday.

The council, which convened under the new presidential system for the first time, said the U.S. stance on Turkey's defense industry projects, namely linking such deals to conditions in violation of international agreements, will cause irreparable damage the strategic partnership between both countries.

The U.S. Congress recently passed legislation threatening to halt U.S. sales of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, despite signed contracts between the countries, over issues such as Turkish arrests of U.S. nationals.

Relations between Turkey and the United States have spiraled into a full-blown crisis over the trial of terror-linked pastor Andrew Brunson, who was in custody for 21 months until he was transferred to house arrest last week.

Brunson was charged with committing crimes, including spying for the PKK -- listed as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey -- and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind the defeated coup attempt of July 2016.

Turkish prosecutors are seeking 15 years in prison for Brunson for committing crimes on behalf of terrorist groups without being a member, with up to 20 years for political or military espionage.

The council also reiterated Turkey's determination to fight against all terror organizations that are threatening its national security and solidarity from within and outside its borders without making any distinctions among the PKK, its Syrian affiliate the People's Protection Units (YPG), Daesh and the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ).

Underlining the importance of sharing intelligence in the fight against terror, the council's statement emphasized that Turkey expected the same, undiscriminating stance form the international community, pointing out that certain measures implemented by some countries amounted to "double-standards" and was unacceptable.

On the topic of Syria, the council stressed that the deal with the U.S. on a roadmap for Manbij would help resolve the Syrian crisis. The statement said that measures to accelerate the return of locals were also reviewed. Concrete steps will start to be taken to secure places in Syria where terror groups are now active, it added.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the city in order to stabilize the region.

Turkish and U.S. patrols in the region began on June 18 as part of the deal after it was announced following Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu's meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including many women and children. The YPG/PKK is its Syrian branch.

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