EU must change its mindset about Ankara, FM Çavuşoğlu says
FOREIGN Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu urged European countries on Thursday to change their view of Turkey, stressing that unless the EU sees Ankara as an equal partner, “a healthy relationship will not be possible.”
Speaking at a press conference while visiting his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey “doesn’t want to have problems with Europe.”
However, the foreign minister also reiterated that Turkey is “not a country that bows down to deceit or double standards.”
“As long as you do not see us as an equal partner, a healthy relationship cannot be expected, despite our differences in standards,” Çavuşoğlu said.
The foreign minister emphasized that Turkey’s view of Europe has changed over time and that European countries must similarly “change their mindset on Turkey.”
Commenting on the Sept. 25 referendum regarding the secession of northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), the foreign minister said that Turkey will use its power to have an impact on the outcome “if needed.”
“We observe this in our bilateral relations [...] Americans and representatives of other countries say ‘The [KRG] is your neighbor and you have power.’ So, Turkey does not hesitate to use its power if needed.”
Pointing to the importance of the issue for the region, Çavuşoğlu also added that Turkey and France might take some steps together.
“In fact, the approach of France and Turkey overlaps in this regard. Such a referendum decision would be the wrong choice and is not good for Turks, for Iraqis, or for the region.”
Le Drian met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan late Thursday at the Presidential Complex in Ankara.
Erdoğan and Le Drian was expected to to discuss the Paris agreement, which is due to be ratified by Turkey, the importance of the strategic Turkey-EU partnership especially on migration, and TurkishFrench economic relations.
The top French diplomat was in Ankara for two days, where he conducted meetings with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the heads of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.