Türkiye has called on the members of the landmark deal that unblocks grain exports through the Black Sea to respect the pact, saying “a failure here would work against all of us.”
“We expect everyone to take ownership of their signatures and act in accordance with their responsibilities,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an exclusive interview with Türkiye’s public broadcaster TRT on Monday, calling on the parties involved in the deal to respect and implement the pact.
Erdogan said Russia’s weekend attack on Ukraine’s port of Odessa “saddens” Türkiye, saying “a failure here would work against all of us.”
“With this agreement, the effects of the global food crisis, which is reaching serious dimensions, will begin to ease,” he added.
Last week, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement to resume grain exports through the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny after months of blockage due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, now in its sixth month.
Under the deal, a joint coordination centre in Istanbul will carry out inspections at the entrances and exits of the harbours and ensure the safety of the routes.
Erdogan on Monday reiterated that Türkiye remains determined to forge ahead with its diplomatic efforts to ensure ceasefire and peacekeeping between Russia and Ukraine.
No comproise on terrorism
Türkiye will not compromise on the issue of terrorism, Erdogan said, reiterating that Ankara expects “concrete steps” from NATO and hopes Sweden and Finland would end supporting terror groups such as PKK, PYD/YPG and FETO.
“Concession from Türkiye should not be expected on Sweden, Finland’s NATO bids unless Ankara’s security concerns are met,” he added.
“PKK, YPG/PYD and FETO will not be supported. This is our red line. Nobody should expect us to make compromises about that,” Erdogan said.
PKK’s Iraq attack
On last week’s deadly attack in Duhok, Iraq, Erdogan said the attack “once again showed us the PKK’s true face.”
Last week, nine people lost their lives and 23 were wounded in an attack in the Zakho district of northern Iraq’s Duhok province.
Turkish security sources denied reports “in support of the terrorist group PKK” blaming the attack on shelling by Turkish forces. Türkiye said that it did not carry out any attack against civilians in northern Iraq.
“This is one of the normal moves of terrorist groups up to now,” saying the attack was meant to “disrupt positive developments between Türkiye and Iraq.”
US involvement with terrorist groups
On US Central Command (CENTCOM)’s sympathy for YPG/PKK terrorists, Erdogan condemned the US’ continued cooperation with terrorists in northern Syria.
“America’s involvement with terrorist groups will end with it falling into the hole it dug,” Erdogan said.
On Sunday, CENTCOM extended condolences to and praised a PKK/YPG terrorist killed near Qamishli in northern Syria.
Türkiye has long criticised the US for working with the YPG/PKK supposedly against Daesh, stressing that using one terrorist group to fight another makes no sense.