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Turkey Should Reassess NATO Membership

Turkey Should Reassess NATO Membership Turkey Should Reassess NATO Membership

A lawmaker said Turkey should reconsider its membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as it would be questionable to stay in a military alliance where a member state's leaders are designated as enemy.

In a recent talk with ICANA, Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the spokesman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said NATO's move is a grave insult to the Turkish president and people.

On Friday, Turkey withdrew 40 soldiers participating in military exercises at NATO's joint warfare center in Stavanger, Norway, during which Turkey's founding leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, were depicted as "enemies".

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen have apologized to Turkey over the incident.

Hosseini expressed shock at the "unprecedented and impertinent" move, calling into question that the episode, as claimed by NATO, was an accident.

"This is an intentional incident that carries a message," he said.

***Unforgivable

Erdogan on Saturday batted back an apology from the NATO military alliance, saying such disrespectful behavior could not be so easily forgiven.

"This matter cannot be covered over with a simple apology," he said.

The incident has given rise to the fierce criticism of Turkish politicians with its euro-skeptic Nationalist Movement Party leader, Devlet Bahceli, describing it as "a disgrace that cannot be fixed or compensated."

Turkey has now reached a point of "all or nothing" with the alliance, he said.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition party Republican People's Party, also said on Saturday that "the incident is not a topic that can be avoided with an ordinary 'we apologize' thing."

Iranian lawmaker Shahrouz Barzegar called on Muslim nations not to pin their hopes on the western countries, particularly the US.

"When [Muslim countries] seek US protection, they must be aware that anything can happen to them and they may not even be able to complain about it. Because at the end of the day, their benefits are in [following US] policies," he said.

Barzegar also said this would not be the last time for such incidents, urging Muslim countries to form a NATO-like alliance to protect their security.

"The action demonstrated NATO's hostile nature against Muslims. It is clear that they only respect countries as long as their benefits are ensured," he concluded.

Over the past few months, NATO has been experiencing internal conflicts among its allies. Ankara's deal with Russia on the purchase of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles has caused concern among members of the military bloc, including the US.

Turkey, being a NATO member state with the second-largest army in the military alliance, drew an outpouring of criticism from the US and other members of the bloc, which criticized Ankara for drifting toward Moscow.

The deal has also raised concerns because the weapons cannot be integrated into the NATO defense.

 

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