Türkİye, Russia-Ukraine War

Turkish president calls for Russia-Ukraine truce

Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls for EU to show Turkiye same 'sensitivity' it did for Ukraine on accession

Handan Kazanci   | 01.03.2022
Turkish president calls for Russia-Ukraine truce

ANKARA

The president of Turkiye on Tuesday reiterated his call for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine as the war continues on its sixth day.

"Our call on both Russia and Ukraine is for them to cease their fire as soon as possible," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a joint press conference alongside his Kosovar counterpart Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu at the presidential complex in Ankara.

Erdogan called on both Moscow and Kyiv to "make a good contribution to world peace."

Since Russia's war on Ukraine began last Thursday, it has been met by outrage from the international community, with the EU, UK, and US implementing a range of economic sanctions on Russia.

So far, at least 136 civilians, including 13 children, have been killed and 400 others, including 26 children, injured in Ukraine, according to UN figures.

Around 660,000 people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday.


Possible EU membership for Ukraine

Erdogan also hailed the possibility of EU accession for Ukraine, saying: "We appreciate the efforts to get Ukraine EU membership. But I ask the EU members, why does Turkiye's membership in the EU worry you?"

Calling on the bloc to show Turkiye the same "sensitivity" they did for Ukraine on accession, he asked: "Will you put Turkiye on the agenda when somebody attacks?"

On Monday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for Ukraine's "immediate accession" to the EU.

"We call on the European Union for the immediate accession of Ukraine under a new special procedure," Zelenskyy said in an address to the nation.

Turkiye applied for EU membership in 1987, and accession talks began in 2005. But negotiations stalled in 2007 due to objections from the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus, as well as opposition from Germany and France.

On Tuesday, European Parliament adopted a resolution demanding EU candidacy for Ukraine a day after eight countries in the bloc -- Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia -- expressed their support for Zelenskyy's call.


Kosovo's NATO membership

On possible NATO membership for Kosovo, Erdogan said Ankara would take steps to get the Balkan nation recognized as a NATO member.

"We've always advocated and still advocate that it would be advantageous to enlarge NATO," adding that Turkiye wanted this "for world peace."

The Turkish president also stressed the importance of fighting the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkiye.

"It is of great importance to end the existence of the terrorist organization, which has targeted our democracy and martyred our 251 citizens," he added.

FETO has a considerable presence outside Turkiye, including private educational institutions that serve as a revenue stream for the terrorist group.

Along with its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen, FETO orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkiye, which left 251 people killed and 2,734 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.


Turkiye's support for Kosovo

For her part, Osmani-Sadriu said that, witnessing the Russia-Ukraine war, her country now believes "it is time for Kosovo to join NATO."

She noted that Turkiye was one of the first countries to recognize Kosovo when it declared independence in 2008, adding that Ankara has a "very important" role in NATO and thanking Erdogan for his support.

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkiye and Kosovo signed three cooperation agreements, including on forests and sports.


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