Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman and special adviser Ibrahim Kalin has lashed out at critics of the Turkish president, saying accusations of heavy-handed treatment against political rivals and that Turkey is straying from its western alliance are “baseless.”
“They point to a profound failure of understanding and a deliberate dismissal of Turkey’s legitimate security concerns, the regional dynamics in which it operates and the larger geopolitical realities,” Kalin wrote in an op-ed in Bloomberg on Monday, responding to mounting criticism of Erdogan's domestic and foreign policy.
On American concerns over Turkey's acquisition of a Russian missile defense system that Washington says is incompatible with the country's commitments as an ally, Kalin said that “questioning Turkey’s standing in NATO is no different from questioning NATO’s integrity and relevance in the 21st century.”
He defended Ankara's decision to proceed with the purchase as a result of its failure to secure a deal for the America-made Patriot system.
Kalin went on to lament “a similar state of negligence and frustration” that has “clouded relations” between Turkey and the European Union, accusing Brussels of accepting the Republic of Cyprus as a member without a reunification deal and of challenging Turkey's right to explore for energy resources in areas in which it claims to have rights stemming from the island's occupied north.
He also pointed to Nicosia's rejection of the “Turkish side’s offer to establish a regime of fair and equal share of resources in the eastern Mediterranean.”