Turkish Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu delivers a speech. File photo.InternationalIndiaAfricaRelations between Turkiye and the US faltered after Ankara accused Washington of trying to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a coup in 2016. Earlier this month, Erdogan blasted the US ambassador to Turkiye and said his office’s doors were “closed to him” after the envoy met with a senior opposition leader ahead of the May 14 election.The world has no lost love for America, and the West’s efforts to impose its culture and values on the planet are doomed to fail because its hegemony no longer exists, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has said.America is losing its global credibility and the “whole world hates America,” Soylu said, speaking at a pre-election meeting with young people in Istanbul Tuesday.
Suggesting that Europe has turned into America’s “pawn” in Africa, Soylu said that “there is no such thing as Europe” today. “Do not overthink it. America exists. Europe is the train in the US convoy. It does not have any special features.” The official pointed to the numerous problems facing Europe, including the constant discrediting of its leaders, the aging of the population, and economic problems.
The interior minister said that he was “not afraid of terrorism” because the activities of terrorists and efforts necessary to fight them are clear. “But one of the greatest dangers in the world is cultural terrorism, and we are facing cultural terrorism. We are facing a cultural terrorism that’s aimed at destroying the family structure, morality…the civilizations of nations, their history, our religion, our values, traditions, customs, what our mothers and fathers taught us,” he said.Emphasizing the importance of the upcoming elections, Solyu suggested they will be history in the making.“Turkiye is changing history. This is the election that will completely change history. That is why America is pressing us, Europe is pressing us. That’s why Kandil [the hills of northern Iraq where Ankara alleges Turkish Kurdish fighters to be holed up, ed.] are in a hurry, while the PKK [a Kurdish militant group Turkiye classifies as terrorists] are pressing us. This is not the choice of Tayyip Erdogan, this is the choice of Turkiye’s future generations, the choice of Turkiye’s full independence,” Solyu said.WorldLavrov Attends Working Dinner With Cavusoglu in Ankara – Turkish Foreign Ministry7 April, 01:09 GMTTurks will go to the polls for presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, with Erdogan representing the People’s Alliance, a right-wing populist, nationalist, neo-Ottomanist, Euroskepticist political force led by the ruling Justice and Development Party. Opposing him is Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Nation Alliance, a Kemalist, social liberal, generally pro-Europeanist and pro-American big tent alliance led by the Republican People’s Party. Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu have been running neck and neck in the polls since March, with polls ranging dramatically depending on who’s conducting the polling, from a nine and a half point lead for Kilicdaroglu, to a 7.7 point lead for Erdogan. A runoff race will be held at a later date if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round.Pro-Erdogan forces’ anti-American feelings were ramped up earlier this month after US Ambassador to Turkiye Jeff Flake privately met with Kilicdaroglu. Erdogan slammed the move, saying the ambassador “needs to know his place” as a diplomat.Turkiye, once the bulwark of NATO along its Black Sea and Mediterranean flanks, has gradually pushed to increase its strategic autonomy from Washington under Erdogan amid Turks’ cooling attitudes toward the US and the West in general. Alleged American support for the July 2016 coup attempt, more than three decades of stalled talks on Turkiye’s possible accession to the EU, and other grievances have left many Turks cynical about the alliance with the West, and demanding a more independent foreign and domestic policy.WorldNATO’s Enlargement Targets Not Only Moscow, But Ankara as Well, Turkish Media Says5 April, 11:49 GMT