Ankara wishes to strengthen cooperation with the new U.S. administration and common interests outweigh differences between Turkey and the United States, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday.
We want to further strengthen our cooperation with the new US administration on a win-win basis in the long term,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a video message sent to an event which marked the launch of a TV channel by the Turkish American National Steering Committee or TASC.
Erdoğan said that Turkey and the U.S. have a strong and comprehensive strategic alliance based on common interests, adding that the two countries have managed to overcome all difficulties so far despite disagreements.
“Recently, we witnessed a process that the Turkish-American friendship severely tested. We could not see the support and solidarity from our NATO ally, especially in the fight against the PKK terrorist organization and its extensions. Likewise, despite the boxes of evidence we have delivered to the American authorities, no steps have been taken regarding the (extradition) of FETÖ leader for four years, which has deeply disappointed our nation and the families of our 251 martyrs,” Erdoğan said.
Ties between the two NATO allies have been strained over a host of issues. In December, the United States sanctioned Turkey for its purchase of Russian S-400 defence systems, while Ankara has been infuriated by US support for the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, which it considers a terrorist organisation.
“Turkey will continue to do its part in a manner worthy of the allied and strategic partnership ties between the two countries,” he said, adding Turkish-US ties had been “seriously tested” recently.
In a phone call this month marking the first official contact since Biden took office, Erdogan’s foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalin told US national security adviser Jake Sullivan the S-400 dispute needed resolving.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the S-400 dispute and other disagreements during their first call.
Turkey has hired Washington-based law firm Arnold & Porter to lobby for its readmission into the F-35 jet programme, where it was a buyer and manufacturer, after it was removed by the United States over the S-400s. Washington’s claim that the defence systems poses a threat to the F-35s is rejected by Ankara.