On 2 February 2023, HURRIYET DAILY NEWS reported that « President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 1 that sending weapons to Ukraine would not serve as a solution in the Russian-Ukrainian war since these moves bring risks and benefits only the gun barons ».
“I cannot say that sending tanks to Ukraine could be an element of a solution. All of this is risky and only benefits gun barons,” Erdoğan said in an interview with the TRT broadcaster.
“Is the sending of tanks and ectara by the U.S. and Germany to Ukraine a solution?” he asked and said these were only aimed at playing for time.
Erdoğan asserted that he would continue talks with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine to find a way to secure lasting peace.
Emphasizing that Ankara has always been a part of the solution regarding the grain corridor, prisoner exchange and the security of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and humanitarian aid, Erdoğan continued: “As Türkiye, we are always ready to take on the role of facilitator and mediator for lasting peace.”
Ankara expects support from Europe and the world to calls for peace and negotiation, he said.
“Negotiations need to be supported with the declaration of a ceasefire and the vision of a fair solution. I always keep my hopes for peace alive. If I had lost this hope, the grain corridor would not have been opened, there would have been no prisoner exchange,” he stated.
The president also warned of growing anti-Islamic rhetoric in Europe, especially in Scandinavian countries, and said Türkiye is concerned with these acts.
“We are concerned about the increasing anti-Islamic rhetoric and actions in Europe, especially in Scandinavian countries,” he said.
Türkiye expects “sincere steps from Sweden in the fight against Islamophobia,” Erdoğan stated adding that Ankara also wants Sweden and Finland to fully comply with their commitments in the tripartite memorandum, especially in the fight against terrorism.
Apologies from Sweden will not fix the issues, since the Nordic country has become “a safe haven for terrorist organizations,” Erdoğan added.
Elaborating on the tension between Ankara and Athens, Erdoğan said Türkiye will not stand by while Greece takes actions that threaten its security.
“Greece’s allegations that Türkiye violates its airspace are baseless. Actually, Greece violates our airspace and increases tensions,” Erdoğan said.
“Of course, our air force and coast guard do not and will not leave these hostile actions unanswered,” he added.
HURRIYET DAILY NEWS, February 2, 2023.