Following relations improving between Turkey and Russia, there are claims of Turkey shifting its allegiance. In response to such claims, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş asserted late Tuesday night during an interview with TV channel TRT that Turkey is not an extension of another country, underlining that it will act in accordance with its own national interests.
When asked whether Turkey is experiencing a shift in allegiance due to the recently improved relationship with Russia, Iran and China, Kurtulmuş replied by indicating that he could never embrace the concept "shift in allegiance" as he found it "unacceptable and rather frustrating." "Turkey has only one allegiance and that is to its people," affirmed the government spokesperson.
Noting that Turkey has always had strong relations with the East and the West, along with Christendom and Islamic countries, Kurtulmuş stated that relations never progress in a linear fashion. Additionally, he remarked on the changing nature of relations between countries by giving Turkish-Russian bilateral relations as an example. Saying that relations with Russia were tense for most of the previous year, the deputy prime minister said, "Now we are able to meet on common ground in certain matters regarding the Syrian crisis, as is the case in negotiations at the Astana summit."
Kurtulmuş added that a similar improvement in relations with the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq is taking place, ushering in a new period in bilateral relations. He also underscored that Turkey's relations with other countries are shaped in accordance with its own national interests, indicating that Turkey is not a proxy of any other country.
Continuing to speak on the country's interests, Kurtulmuş affirmed that issues are a natural part of relations between countries and that they can be resolved. "However, no one should expect Turkey to quietly yield when there is an impasse," he said. Providing an example, he asserted that the U.S. turning a blind eye to Turkey's demands for the extradition of Fetullah Gülen, head of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), and the suspension of support to the PKK's Syrian offshoot Democratic Union Party (PYD) would not result in Turkey admitting defeat, even if it means the deterioration of Turkish-U.S. relations.
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