Ankara’s refusal to bend to demands by the West to severe ties with Russia has led to “incredible pressure” being placed on Ankara, Erdogan spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has said.
“Have other countries not put pressure on us? Of course they have…For a year-and-half, Western countries are putting incredible pressure on us, demanding that we slap sanctions [on Russia], asking why we cooperate with Russia, etc. But we didn’t listen to anyone, and held a ceremony on the delivery of the first fuel to the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant,” Kalin said in an interview with local media.
“We have had two main problems [with the US, ed.] since the Obama era – the [US] support given to the YPG/PYD,and the FETO issue,” the presidential spokesman said, referring to Washington’s support for Kurdish militants which Ankara classifies as “terrorists,” and America’s refusal to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric whom Turkish officials blame for the July 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan.