Turkish opposition announces plans for active cooperation with Russia if it wins elections

17 March


The Turkish opposition, if it wins the upcoming May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections, will continue its policy of active cooperation with Russia. It will pursue a policy of balancing NATO membership with maintaining good relations with Russia, Turkish MP Unal Cevikoz, a foreign policy adviser to Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a presidential candidate and leader of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), told TASS on Friday.

"Russia is undoubtedly an important neighbor for us, a partner with whom we actively cooperate, [together we] participate in resolving issues arising in the surrounding region. The relationship with it cannot be ignored, we sometimes have certain issues, but we must act together to resolve them," the agency's interlocutor said. "At the same time, we should not forget that Turkey is a NATO member country. Just as during the Cold War we pursued a policy of balance vis-à-vis the former Soviet Union, today we can successfully combine membership in the alliance with good relations with Russia," Cevikoz emphasized.

Maintaining a balance in bilateral ties and considering mutual interests, in his opinion, is a good example of interstate relations. "This is very important for us, considering that we have not only active trade at the state level, but also close family ties," he said, referring to marriages between residents of the two countries.

Cevikoz recalled that relations between Turkey and Russia have a centuries-long history, including wars. "At the beginning of the 20th century both countries created new states - the USSR and the Republic of Turkey - and maintained relations of friendship and solidarity. They are actively developing today. We must look to the future, not to the past," said the adviser to the Turkish opposition leader.

The opposition's plans in case of winning the elections

In case of winning the elections, the Turkish Republican People's Party also announced its goal of neutralizing conflicts in the surrounding region.

"We want calm, peace, and stability in the Caucasus, Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, the Balkans, and the Black Sea basin, as negative developments in the surrounding region reflect on Turkey. Therefore, we will pursue a policy of transforming the surrounding region into a basin of peace," said Cevikoz, a member of the Turkish parliament and former ambassador.

He noted that in case of the opposition coming to power after the presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14 "all of Turkey's foreign policy issues will be considered: the relationships with the EU, the US, and the relations" with the neighboring and regional countries. Along with rapprochement with the West, Turkey, according to Cevikoz, will pursue a course of developing relations with its neighbors. "In general, we will pursue a multifaceted foreign policy, we will not look only in one direction and ignore the other," Cevikoz said.

However, he called domestic issues, not external ones, the priority goal of the opposition. Strengthening democracy, respect for human rights and a return to a parliamentary system, according to Cevikoz, will have a direct impact on Turkey's foreign policy. "As a result, the attitude towards Turkey itself and its image will also change. And for <...> Turkey to return as a positive actor in the international arena, it is necessary to start transformations inside the country," stressed the TASS interlocutor.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Creative Commons

Based on materials from TASS