Relations between Ankara and Washington are not “ideal,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, accusing the United States of actions that are not “very becoming of two friendly countries.”
“Our trade volume with the United States is not supposed to be where it is today. And in the defense industry, we are not at the level that we desire,” Erdogan, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, said in an interview with US broadcaster PBS on Monday night.
“For example, we have the outstanding issue of F-16s. We have procured F-16s from the United States. But, instead, certain political decisions are being made, resulting in the imposition of sanctions upon Turkey. This is not very becoming of two friendly countries such as the US and Turkey,” he said through a translator.
“We have spoken to the Republicans, and we have received the support of the Republicans. If we can’t get the results out of the United States about the F-16s, what are we going to do? Of course, we’re going to take care of our own selves,” Erdogan added.
Asked about next year’s general election in Turkey, Erdogan dismissed the possibility of defeat, saying “nobody will replace us, because there is no alternative.”
Erdogan also responded to concerns that he may contest the result of the election – as Donald Trump did in the US presidential race of 2020 – if he loses by a narrow margin, saying “these are common things. They happen all the time.”
“There is losing by a great extent and there is not winning. But we are currently in such a position that we will be able to be triumphant,” he said.