NATO members 'cannot turn a blind eye' to Gaza: Türkiye

'We call on allies to declare 'no more' to Netanyahu government's aggression,' says parliament speaker Kurtulmus

10:23 - 10/07/2024 Wednesday
File photo
File photo

Türkiye urged NATO allies Tuesday to take a stance against Israel's "aggression" against the Gaza Strip, said Parliament Speaker Numan Kurtulmus.

"We, members of the most powerful defense organization of the world, cannot turn a blind eye to one of the most pressing global issues, to the immense human catastrophe unfolding in Gaza.

"This bloodshed and the massacres of Israel must be stopped," Kurtulmus said at a NATO parliamentary summit in the US.

Kurtulmus is visiting the US until July 10 to participate in the summit which brings together parliamentary leaders from the 32 NATO members as well as Ukraine, including 23 speakers of parliament.

"There is a grave risk for this situation escalating into a regional war. In our discussions on global security, we must align ourselves with the common front of humanity that champions fairness and justice.

"We call on allies to declare 'no more' to Netanyahu government's aggression," he added.

Türkiye has demanded an immediate permanent cease-fire, unhindered humanitarian access and a two-state solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict, Kurtulmus stressed.

Extending his sincere thanks to US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and the American Congress for hosting the summit, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the establishment of NATO, Kurtulmus said the alliance has contributed to the collective security in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.

Since the onset of the war in Ukraine, Kurtulmus said Türkiye has consistently affirmed its "unwavering support" for Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, including Crimea.

"Moreover, we have been at the forefront of diplomatic efforts to reach a just and lasting solution to the war," he said, adding efforts should also focus on maintaining democratic resilience in countries NATO members support, including Ukraine.

Kurtulmus extended his condolences and "deep sorrow" for losses by Ukraine in Russia's recent attacks.

- Fight against terrorism

Terrorism is "the most direct asymmetric threat" to the security of the alliance, said Kurtulmus.

"As Secretary-General (Jens) Stoltenberg has repeatedly noted, no other ally has faced more terrorist attacks than Türkiye. While we remain resolute in our fight against terrorist organizations, namely Daesh, FETO, PKK and its offshoot in Syria, the PYD/YPG, we want to see our allies act in good faith and in solidarity," he added.

He stressed it is a contradiction that NATO has a goal for defense expenditures while Türkiye, safeguarding NATO's southern front, is subjected to arms restrictions by some of its allies despite decisions taken at the NATO summit last year in Vilnius, Lithuania.

"Türkiye's commitment to the broader objectives of NATO and well-known contributions to the missions should be well understood," he added.

Stressing that it is the responsibility of NATO members to stand together to prevent war and to preserve peace, Kurtulmus said: “We should therefore increase our consultations, in particular through the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, to develop a viable peace perspective, as the current turbulent climate has a potential to spill over and the international governance has unfortunately lost its ability to respond global crises."

He added there are two main principles to build a just international system: equality of all human beings in their rights and dignity, and sovereign equality of all states.

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15 days ago