Turkey’s Ruling Party Says NATO Withdrawal is Not On the Table
Omer Celik, the spokesman for Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AK Party), announced on January xxx, 2023 that Turkey is not flirting with the idea of leaving the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
“We face such things in every election (calls for ending Turkey’s membership of NATO). These are not the things that we will worry about. Those who call for terminating Turkey’s membership of NATO do not talk sense. This is out of the question. We are one of the founding countries of NATO. They have no right to say such things. What they say would be a luxury for NATO,” Celik said during an interview appearance on CNN Turk.
BLP previously reported on the deputy leader of the Patriotic Party, Ethem Sancak, saying that Turkey might withdraw from NATO in 5 to 6 months owing to the allegedly provocative actions the Collective West is taking against Turkey He pointed to recent polls showing that at least 80% of Turkish citizens were sure that “the United States is a country pursuing the most hostile and destructive policy” towards Turkey. Sancak also brought attention to how “lately the Turkish people began to take a liking towards Russia and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”
On January 19, the Patriotic Party announced its launch of a national campaign to push Turkish public officials to withdraw from the alliance. Russian-state media outlet TASS noted that an integral part of this campaign consists of movement members placing desks in squares in several cities to collect signatures for relevant petitions. In addition, the movement will be holding rallies and demonstrations against NATO military installations in Turkey. Patriotic Party leader Dogu Perincek declared that “a strong NATO means a strong threat to Turkey.”
The Patriotic Party has generally pushed for an anti-American foreign policy. Instead, it favors Turkey pursuing more favorable relations with China and Russia. The Patriotic party has repeatedly gone on record calling for the shutdown of US military bases in Turkey, cancel the request for the purchase of US F-16 fighter jets, and Turkey’s withdrawal from NATO.
While Turkey will likely remain in NATO for the foreseeable future, tensions between it and the Collective West will continue to surface on issues regarding the sovereignty of the Kurds and the general fact that Turkey, an ethnoreligious managed democracy, sticks out like a sore thumb among its western liberal counterparts in NATO.
As the world order transitions towards multipolarity, Turkey will likely start pursuing its own national interest which will often butt heads with NATO and other Western nations that are consumed by wokism. Sooner or later, Turkey will leave NATO.