The deputy chairman of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party says the U.S. is working to prolong the Ukraine war for “its own benefit”.
Despite its nominal status as an ally of the United States and European countries like Greece, which it regularly threatens, through the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) alliance, Turkey has largely side-stepped the Western sanctions war with Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, and even taken advantage of the situation to bolster its economic relationship with Moscow.
Now, the deputy chairman of President Erdogan’s political party, parliamentarian and former deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmuş, is actually accusing the West, and in particular America, of actively obstructing peace.
“This war is not between Russia and Ukraine, it is a war between Russia and the West,” Kurtulmuş said in comments to CNN Turk.
“The USA and some countries in Europe are starting a process of prolonging this war by supporting Ukraine. What we want is an end to this war. Someone is trying not to end the war,” he suggested.
To make sure observers would be in no doubt as to what he was implying, the Turkish statesman went on the assert in no uncertain terms that “[t]he United States sees the prolongation of the war as its interest.”
“There are those who want this war to continue,” Kurtulmuş, continued.
“The continuation of this war reveals a new process for the USA… The United States sees the prolongation of this war as its own benefit. Putin-Zelensky was going to sign [a deal], but someone didn’t want to,” he alleged.
The intervention puts Turkey in the same boat as Communist China, with both officially condemning the Russian invasion — indeed, Kurtulmuş told CNN Turk that Russia’s “annexations [of Ukrainian territory], especially the annexation of Crimea, are against the law” — while failing to enact sanctions against Moscow and issuing statements suggesting that it is Western governments who are truly responsible for the conflict.
“Never forget who’s the real threat to the world,” declared Chinese foreign ministry official Zhao Lijian in February, shortly after Russia’s full-scale invasion was launched, on social media, in a post accompanied by an infographic listing American military interventions since 1945 under the sarcastic heading ‘USA Bombing List: The Democracy World Tour’.