In an interview with Sputnik, Ahmet Berat Conkar, AKP lawmaker and deputy head of the Turkish delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, commented on the French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement that Turkey, which launched the military offensive Operation Peace Spring in Syria, cannot count on the solidarity and support of NATO, ONA reports.
According to Conkar, this statement is “outrageous” and “unacceptable for the leader of the state”.
“Macron needs to learn a lesson about what the North Atlantic Alliance is all about. Turkey expects solidarity and support from its NATO allies, and this is a perfectly justified and legitimate expectation, as mutual support and solidarity among Alliance members is a fundamental principle in ensuring common defence and security within NATO”, Conkar says.
Conkar stressed that Turkey, which has been fighting a serious terrorist threat for many years, is now facing a situation where some of its NATO allies are supporting terrorist organisations.
According to the lawmaker, Macron openly contradicts NATO values and principles by making such statements, whereas NATO's fundamental task and responsibility are to stand by and support all its allies in the fight against terrorism.
“This situation raises the question of whether France's presence in NATO is advisable. If you do not provide support when it comes to your ally's security, when he is fighting terrorism, then when else?” Conkar says.
In his view, all of this makes the Alliance's very existence meaningless. In this respect, the speech of the country’s president with such a scandalous statement is a manifestation of irresponsibility and makes one carefully consider that it is completely unacceptable for Turkey, Conkar believes.
“I regard this statement as a comment made because of ignorance of the very system of NATO's functioning and the regulations binding on allies. If there is a need for information on this issue, one of the most competent bodies is the NATO Parliamentary Assembly”, he noted.
The Turkish lawmaker points out that the Turkish delegation through that platform has repeatedly shared with its fellow parliamentarians detailed information on the terrorist threat posed to Turkey's security by the Kurdistan Workers' Party and Kurdish self-defence militants.
“We can also refer to our report prepared by the ad hoc working group on the situation in the Mediterranean and Middle East. It clearly states that Turkey's expectations of NATO are highly justified and legitimate. I recommend that Mr Macron and all NATO leaders who hold a similar position about Turkey's military operation should carefully examine these documents”, the Turkish MP concluded.