In a speech in London, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, alleges that the United States has now become part of the world’s problems. He further said that today the world is experiencing dark days similar to the time before World War 2, citing US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv in recognition of Jerusalem as the nation’s capital, as well as withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran.
Mr. Erdoğan has declared himself to be a spokesman for Muslims in the Middle East, and has also spoken up against Europe for failing to assist Turkey with the 3.5 million Syrian refugees in the country. He further claims that the EU has not given the funds promised as part of a refugee deal.
On day two of a state visit Mr. Erdoğan made a speech at Chatham House, a think tank in London. This visit is now part of his campaign for re-election, since he advanced the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey to June 24.
The Prime Minister of Britain, Theresa May, has been less than critical with the Turkish President, mindful of the security of foreign fighters yet to return to the UK, as well as a free-trade deal with Turkey enacted post-Brexit. Critics have called out how the Conservatives have overlooked Mr. Erdoğan’s administration, which has grown to become more draconian over the years.
In a conversation with Ms. May, Mr. Erdoğan has said he would urge the UK to give up Turkish nationals in the country who were connected to the coup that almost ousted him three years ago.
Michael Gove, the secretary for the environment, has been accused to keeping a “fawning silence” about the state visit of the Turkish President, even though Mr. Gove has said that Brexit would allow the UK to champion human rights.
In his speech, President Erdoğan made it clear that he believed that the US was no longer fit to be considered as a peace mediator in the Middle East, and that President Trump’s choice to move the embassy to Jerusalem, a city hotly contested by Israel and Palestine for many decades, was a violation of international law and UN decisions. “America has chosen to be part of the problem and not the solution so they have lost their role as international mediator. We cannot stop feeling like being in dark days of pre-world war two.”
He added that Iran had kept to the agreement made three years ago under President Obama, and thus it was important that the US would also stick to this. He called the US’ choice to back out of the agreement as part of selfish unilateral decisions.
He also denounced the agreements the US has made with some Kurdish groups, alleging that the Kurdish Syrian YPD is attempting to hide its true identity as Kurds by linking other groups fighting IS.
With President Erdoğan’s newly minted cooperation with Russia growing, he seems less determined to see the Syrian President removed from power, although from his statements it can be gleaned that he regards Bashar al-Assad as a mass murderer who should not stay in power for much longer.
In his speech, Mr. Erdoğan also asserted that Turkey is more democratic than many countries in the EU, and he called on the permanent members of the UN Security Council to step down, in order to give other states in the general assembly the opportunity.