BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:20 A.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this past weekend that his country considers itself part of Europe, and at the same time seeks to strengthen relations with the United States on regional and international issues.
On Saturday, Erdogan said, in a speech he delivered over a video call to the Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) conferences in the states of Kutahya, Afyon Karahisar, Batman and Sarat:
“We see ourselves in Europe and not elsewhere, and we aim to build our future with it.”
The Turkish President expressed Ankara’s desire to “effectively invest its close alliance with America to solve all regional and global issues,” adding: “We want to be in a state of stronger cooperation with our friends and allies.”
Erdogan’s comments come at a time of great friction with several European states, including France, Cyprus and Greece.
Most recently, Turkey announced the resumption of its seismic surveying activity and oil explosions, prompting strong condemnation from Greece and Cyprus.
Lastly, Erdogan’s comments about the world needing to recognize Northern Cyprus as an independent nation, prompted more condemnation from Greece and Cyprus.