Turkey, World, Middle East

Turkey to respond if US imposes sanctions

Ankara, Washington should resolve issues though mutual understanding, dialogue, says Turkish foreign minister

Zuhal Demirci   | 14.12.2019
Turkey to respond if US imposes sanctions Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) speaks during a session during the 19th Doha Forum on December 14, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.

DOHA

Turkey will respond to any sanctions imposed by the U.S., the Turkish foreign minister said on Saturday. 

"If sanctions are applied, Turkey will have to respond. We are trying to overcome this issue without sanctions and through dialogue and mutual understanding," Mevlut Cavusoglu said at the 19th Doha Forum held in the Qatari capital.

Speaking about a resolution passed in the U.S. Senate on Armenian allegations over the events of 1915, Cavusoglu reiterated that politicians with limited historical knowledge should not "judge history".

"[The U.S.] Senate passed this resolution due to their disappointment over Turkey's [Peace Spring] Operation in northern Syria and due to the Armenian and other lobbies that support them," he said.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing Armenian claims on the events that transpired in 1915.

Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to examine the issue.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned Syrian safe zone.

Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The terrorist YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.


- Maritime agreement between Turkey and Libya

Citing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent remarks that Ankara might consider sending troops to Libya if the Libyan government made such a request, Cavusoglu said: "We will look into it once a request comes and evaluate it."

On Nov. 7, Ankara and Tripoli-based Libyan government reached two separate memorandum of understandings (MoU), one on military cooperation and the other one on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.


*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

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