Saturday, May 18, 2024

Turkish FM says opposition may draw country into Russia-Ukraine war if wins elections

The Turkish opposition may draw Turkey into the Russia-Ukraine war if it wins the upcoming elections, given its desire to "pick a certain side and tip the balance", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

“We are currently pursuing a well-balanced policy (in relation to the situation in Ukraine) … What’s in it for us to support a certain side and become a party to the conflict? And those who say ‘we should pick a certain side and tip the balance,’ will draw our country into the war, if they come to power,” Cavusoglu stated during his visit to the Turkish city of Manavgat on Wednesday.

The top diplomat added that Turkey is not “a pawn” in the games of other countries, but a sovereign state that “makes its own rules.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said in late March that Ankara would not allow the West to drag it into hostilities against Russia.

Meanwhile, the Turkish opposition itself is confident that it will be able to maintain good and balanced relations with Russia if its presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu comes to power, although it will not forget that Turkey is a NATO member, Unal Cevikoz, foreign policy adviser to Kilicdaroglu, told Sputnik in March.

Turkey’s Supreme Election Commission has unanimously approved May 14 as the date for the 2023 presidential election. A second round of voting, if necessary, is scheduled for May 28. Erdogan has been nominated as a presidential candidate by the ruling Justice and Development Party supported by the allied Nationalist Movement Party, while Kilicdaroglu has been declared the single candidate of the opposition People’s Alliance.

Results of pre-election polls are constantly changing and have not yet revealed an unquestionable favorite in the upcoming election. However, experts note that the current electoral process will be the most difficult for the ruling party, due to the devastating earthquakes that claimed the lives of over 50,000 people, as well as the difficult economic situation.

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