Turkish Presidential Candidate Vows to Leave NATO in Case of Election Victory

Dogu Perincek, a Turkish presidential candidate from the left-wing Patriotic Party (VATAN), told Sputnik about the tense relations with NATO, Turkish interior policy and possible cooperation with Russia.
“NATO considers Turkey as an enemy, despite the fact that Turkey is a member of the alliance… Turkey will withdraw from NATO, the US aircraft from the Incirlik airbase will fly home, the base will come under the control of the Turkish military and there would not be any US military presence,” Perincek said.
The politician recalled recent NATO drills, where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first president of Turkey, along with incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were marked as enemies. Perincek also recalled US support for Kurdish militant groups as a reason for the Turkey-NATO spate.
The presidential candidate added that Washington has been trying to pressure Ankara over its cooperation with Russia with Iran in Syria.
“The United States will fail because the pivot of Turkey to the Atlantic region is impossible from now on, its real place is in Eurasia together with Russia, Iran, China, India and Central Asia states,” Perincek claimed.
Turkey has been a NATO member state since 1952. However in recent years tensions between Ankara and other alliance members, particularly Washington, have escalated amid certain political differences, such as the US support for Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara regards as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), group labeled as terrorist and banned in Turkey.