Turkey hopes to turn new page with U.S. and EU in 2021: Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks after a Cabinet meeting held at the Beştepe Presidential Complex in Ankara, June 29, 2020. (Anadolu Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Turkey hopes to “turn a new page” in its ties with the United States and European Union, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

Erdogan told lawmakers from his ruling AK Party that Turkey had been subjected to “double standards” by both its NATO ally Washington and the EU, according to Reuters.

“Turkey is facing double standards both over the eastern Mediterranean and the S-400s. We wish for the EU to rid itself of the strategic blindness that is plaguing it as soon as possible,” Erdogan said.

“I think (U.S. President-elect Joe) Biden will show the necessary importance to Turkey-U.S. ties,” he added.

Earlier this month, the United States sanctioned Turkey over its acquisition of Russian S-400 missile defenses, and the EU also prepared punitive measures over Turkey’s dispute with members Greece and Cyprus over Mediterranean offshore rights.

The United States says the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets and to NATO’s broader defense systems. Turkey rejects this and says S-400s will not be integrated into NATO.

Erdogan said the sanctions were a “hostile attack” against Turkey’s defense industry, and were bound to fail.

Turkey says it bought the S-400s out of necessity as it was unable to get defense systems from a NATO ally on satisfactory terms. “If there was to be a step back, it would have happened by now,” Cavusoglu said.

The sanctions come at a delicate moment in fraught relations between Ankara and Washington as Democratic President-elect Joe Biden gears up to take office on Jan. 20, replacing Republican incumbent Donald Trump.

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