Turkey defends no vote on Iran sanctions, deepens Arab ties

"We would not want to participate in such a mistake because history will not forgive us," Erdogan said.

Turkey defends no vote on Iran sanctions, deepens Arab ties

Arab nations burst into applause Thursday as Turkey's prime minister walked to the podium at a summit, reflecting Turkey's meteoric rise on the world stage amid disputes over Israel's blockade of Gaza and U.N. sanctions against Iran.

The Turkish-Arab Economic Forum opened with calls for an international investigation into the May 31 Israeli commando raid on aid ships bound for Gaza, a topic emphasized by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"If we had not said 'no' to sanctions, we would have denied ourselves. It would be a dishonor. We would not want to participate in such a dishonor because history will not forgive us," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Erdogan said Turkey wanted Iran's nuclear issue to be solved through diplomatic ways and the country would keep exerting efforts on the matter.

Erdogan thanked participants of the forum and said, "we share the same geography and also share a common history, culture and civilization."

"Secret agenda"

Premier Erdogan said all ministers in the Turkish cabinet, bureaucrats, bussinesspeople and nongovernmental organizations were working to boost cooperation with other countries.

"Boosting friendly relations between Turkey and Arab countries with which we have common culture and civilization and struggling for the country's tranquility and prosperity cause some comments. Especially in the recent period, some said that 'does Turkey's axis change?' or 'does Turkey enter in a different course?' Those who have tried to prevent Turkey's relations with Arab world for a long period try to do the same thing today," he said.

In regard to Turkey's EU accession process, Erdogan said that Turkey applied for membership of the European Economic Community in 1959 and no concrete step has been taken since then.

"We started accession talks in 2005. Negotiations are continuing now. Some EU countries try to slow down Turkey's bid for EU membership. Some try to discourage Turkey, but we don't care any of them. Turkey continues to fulfill reforms to meet EU requirements. We are aware of 'secret agenda', but we are continuing with reforms," he said.

"UN contacts before vote"

Erdogan said Thursday the Tehran agreement was made after Turkey consulted with the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Erdogan said he did not want to go into details about Turkey's talks with the permanent members of the UN Security Council prior to the Tehran agreement.

I would like to clarify an issue here. The UN Security Council took a decision on Wednesday. We have supported the idea of solving the Iranian issue by diplomacy since the beginning and, as such, voted against sanctions at the Security Council on Wednesday, Erdogan said.

I will make a statement regarding the issue. We consulted with all permanent members of the UN Security Council prior to the Tehran agreement. I will not go into details. There is no need for that, Erdogan said.

Our goal is to resolve everything on the table. You can not go any where with weapons, embargoes and by alienating. The world has witnessed many examples and paid very heavy prices in the past. We are still paying a price in Iraq and Afghanistan. Millions of people have been killed, aged from 7 to 70. There are hundreds of thousands of widows in Iraq. Who is responsible for this figure? We have to answer this. Who is responsible for the orphans? We have to answer this as well. Will we be silent in the face of these? Those who have caused the status quo in the region will be judged by history. We have been in constant expectations in Palestine for long years. Is there peace in Palestine? No. Is there a solution in Palestine? No. Is this issue not possible to be solved? I do not think it is impossible to solve this issue. The interests of certain groups are being defended there, Erdogan said.

"Victory of diplomacy"

Erdogan said that they had gone to Tehran to make diplomacy and peace succeed.

We believe that the signatures in Tehran were a victory of diplomacy, Erdogan said.

An agreement in Tehran was reached. My Foreign Minister and I immediately briefed the relevant countries on the agreement. As we talked to various leaders, they all expressed that the agreement was a victory for diplomacy and they congratulated us, Erdogan said.

The permanent members of the UN Security Council also made identical comments. What did they say yesterday? No. Why no, why sanctions and why the hurry? They could have acted accordingly if Iran did not keep its promise. Yet Iran kept its promise and sent a letter. Just when a process was about to begin, they acted to cut the process by adopting sanctions. They also said that they were open to negotiations. As Turkey, we will work with Brazil and Iran to continue the negotiations. We will make efforts so that the Tehran agreement stays on the table. The world must be managed by diplomacy. Therefore, I say diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy. We have to succeed by diplomacy. Our signature on Wednesday showed that we are behind the Tehran agreement. We put our signature by talking with Brazil. Lebanon had to abstain and that is what they did. We will succeed through diplomacy. We do not want to be part of a wrong, Erdogan said.

"Demand for more Arab support"

Erdogan said that peace and stability could not be restored in the region when Gaza was under blockade.

"Arabic countries should take more initiatives for solution of the problem through peaceful means," Erdogan said.

Erdogan said, "Shall we remain silent against attacks on ships, which set out from Turkey, carrying activists of 32 different countries, and which were only loaded with relief materials. Shall I close my eyes against massacre of my 9 citizens in the international waters with terrorism and injury and maltreatment of 24 people from different countries. I visited all those injured one by one and saw their situation. Some of those injured are still under treatment in intensive care unit. Shall we remain silent against inhumane practices in Palestine? Won't this be approving state terrorism? Won't this be tolerance to unlawful acts?"

Erdogan said international community and international organizations condoned such kind of inhumane practices and encouraged them secretly, "this process can not continue so and should not. Peace and stability can not be restored when Gaza is under blockade. My government will never make concession from the principles we believe whatever they say to us," he said.

Erdogan said he expected Arabic countries to take more initiatives for the solution of the problem through peaceful means and noted that no country could restore peace and stability as a whole when Palestinian-Israel problem stayed there.

"We should boost alliances and exert more efforts in the name of peace. Neither me nor the government is after getting a role in the region. We believe that the sufferings,tragedies, unlawful acts and piracy give serious damages to all the countries in the region and the region itself," Erdogan said.

"Ill-intentioned propaganda"

Prime Minister Erdogan said those alleging that Turkey broke away from the West are part of an ill-intentioned propaganda.

Turkey and the Arab world have stayed far from each other for a century due to such ill-intentioned propaganda, Erdogan stressed.

Erdogan said that, thanks to multi-dimensional foreign policies pursued, Turkey's exports reached 132 billion USD at the end of 2008 from 36 billion USD in 2002.

Direct international investments in Turkey reached 22 billion USD in 2007. Those who talk about a shift in Turkey's axis of foreign policy are those who do not see the developments. Those alleging that Turkey has broke away from the West are part of an ill-intentioned propaganda. For a century, Turkey and the Arab world have been far from each other due to such ill-intentioned propaganda. France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and the United States all make investments in the Arab world and vice versa. Yet, when it comes to Turkey's investments in the Arab world and this world's investments in Turkey, certain dirty hands try to hurt the process by a dirty propaganda, Erdogan said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Haziran 2010, 15:29


Tughluq - 12 yıl Önce

He has mentioned everything, nothing missed out. Dear Prime minister, you must be very careful with Egypt when trusting Arab nations. Egypt cannot be trusted until Mubarak or his clan rules. we have not forgotten the last 30 years of middle east.

Iftekhar India
Iftekhar India - 12 yıl Önce

MY Der Prime Minister you should be careful of some Arab countries whose rulers are paid CIA and Zionist agents