25th January 2023 – (Ankara) Ankara is not considering the possibility of withdrawing from the North Atlantic Alliance, the spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Omer Celik, said on Wednesday.
“We face such things in every election (calls for ending Turkey’s membership of NATO). These are not the things that we will worry about. Those who call for terminating Turkey’s membership of NATO do not talk sense. This is out of the question. We are one of the founding countries of NATO. They have no right to say such things. What they say would be a luxury for NATO,” he said in an interview on CNN Turk.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the deputy leader of the Turkish Motherland Party, Ethem Sancak, said that Turkey might leave NATO in five to six months due to provocative actions against Ankara. He argued that recent polls had shown at least 80% of the Turkish population was sure that “the United States is a country pursuing the most hostile and destructive policy” towards Turkey. Sancak noted that “lately the Turkish people began to take a liking towards Russia and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”
On January 19, the Motherland Party announced the launch of a nationwide campaign Let’s Leave NATO to press the authorities for quitting the alliance. As part of this campaign, the political movement plans to set up desks in squares in a number of cities to collect signatures to relevant petitions. Also, it will be holding rallies and protests against NATO bases in Turkey. The Motherland Party’s leader Dogu Perincek said that “a strong NATO means a strong threat to Turkey.”
The Rodina party traditionally adheres to an anti-American stance. Earlier, it repeatedly called on the Turkish authorities to close down US military bases in the country, withdraw the request for the purchase of US F-16 fighters and pull out of NATO.