The far right -- acting like a united group with a common agenda -- is posing a great danger to Europe, the spokesman for Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party said Wednesday.
The agenda of European far-right groups starts with enmity toward Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and spreads to Islam and Turkey, Omer Celik told reporters in the capital, Ankara, alluding to European Parliament elections to be held later this week.
Speaking about ongoing tensions over drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, he said Ankara will respond to all provocations in the area as well as to protect the rights and interests of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots.
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.
The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of negotiations over the years.
Celik also touched on the ongoing conflict between the U.S. and Iran, stressing the issue creates 'overcapacity' tensions for the region.
The issue had already increased tensions in Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan, Celik stressed, adding this is also 'extremely dangerous'.
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration reimposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports in November after he pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.
Washington announced last month that it would end sanctions waivers granted to countries that were still buying Iranian oil.
The moves are part of Trump's 'maximum pressure' campaign to curb sales of Iranian oil, denying what Washington said was the country’s main source of revenue.
'As a strong NATO ally, increasing Turkey’s security will contribute to [the security of] all NATO allies,' Celik stressed on Turkey's purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system.
Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 Russian surface-to-air missile system, which Washington said will jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 fighter jet program and which could trigger congressional sanctions.
Turkey decided in 2017 to purchase the S-400 system following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success.
By Beyza Binnur Donmez