Türkiye’s future is in Asia – presidential candidate

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Esha Saxena Mandala
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Ankara should leave NATO and turn to Russia and China, the Patriotic Party leader told RT

Chained by NATO membership and “crucified” by waiting for admittance to the EU, Türkiye should embrace BRICS and an Eurasian destiny, presidential candidate Dogu Perincek has told RT in an interview.

Perincek, 80, leads the Patriotic Party (Vatan Partisi), described as a left-wing nationalist movement. He’s widely seen as the underdog in the May 14 election, in which the Western-backed Kemal Kilicdaroglu seeks to unseat incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“All our efforts are aimed at strengthening Türkiye’s freedom and independence,” Perincek told RT on Wednesday. Ankara’s destiny, he argued, is in the Asian-centric civilization currently emerging under the leadership of Russia, China, Iran and India – as a member of the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Perincek described NATO as “not liberation, but captivity” for Türkiye, predicting that Ankara will quit the US-led bloc “in the foreseeable future.” 

“Turkish people are not bound by the NATO chains,” Perincek told RT, noting that the public sees the US as an enemy, and Russia and China as friends. He endorsed Russian control of Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye as “a major blow to US imperialism,” and argued NATO’s eastward expansion is “as much a threat to Türkiye as it is to Russia.”

The Turkish politician dismissed the prospects of joining the EU as “impossible,” as the bloc consists of mainly Christian countries that don’t want a Muslim-majority one in their midst. Türkiye was granted candidate status in 1999, but has no timeline for actually joining. Brussels wants Ankara “tied to their doorstep” but not actually inside, Perincek said, describing his country as “crucified” by that arrangement.

Commenting on the fact that US President Joe Biden disinvited Ankara from his ‘Summit for Democracy’ at the end of March, Perincek called the summit “fake” and Washington “the center of hostility towards democracy.”

“Their democracy itself is a sham. There is no democracy there, it’s all smoke and mirrors, a deception for the populace,” he told RT. Today’s “imperialist US” is different from the country George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln fought for, and “stifles democracy, both at home and abroad.”

Perincek also objected to Western sanctions against Moscow, which have also hurt Ankara. The US sanctions will backfire in the long run, he told RT, especially if all 40-odd countries that Washington has sanctioned joined forces and sanctioned America in turn.

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