March 4. 2024. 8:40

The Daily

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Czech ambassador: Turkish foreign policy won’t change if opposition wins

Turkey’s foreign policy is not expected to change if the opposition coalition, which has set out its ambition to improve relations with the EU, wins the May elections, the Czech Ambassador to Ankara Pavel Vacek told in an exclusive interview.

Turkey’s parliamentary and presidential elections will be held on 14 May 2023.

According to the diplomat, the opposition offers a change of the country’s political system – from a very centralistic and presidential one to parliamentary democracy.

“To put it simply, the opposition thinks that its victory alone is a recipe for a significant improvement in relations (between Turkey and the EU),” Vacek said.

One should not expect any significant shift in foreign policy, he added. “In the basic external vectors of Turkish politics, even the opposition parties do not foresee a major departure,” Vacek explained.

The ambassador also said he expects continuity of the Turkish foreign policy even if President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lost in the elections after twenty years of power.

“Turkey will simply not be different,” Vacek added. “Great countries simply do not change from one year to the next,” the ambassador said.

Also read: Turkey’s Kilicdaroglu ahead of Erdogan two months before elections.

According to the diplomat, the continuity also applies to issues such as Russia’s war against Ukraine, policy towards Syria, migration policy or issues concerning Cyprus.

“Of course, it is important to ask questions, and we are in contact with the opposition parties, and we are asking questions. There are some differences from the view of the current leadership, but not fundamental,” the Czech diplomat said.

“Nowhere do you see any completely fundamental difference between what Turkey has been saying and doing for the last 20 years and what the opposition has been promising,” he added.

Turkey opposes the European Union’s sanctions against Russia, the ambassador said, pointing to the country’s opposition to using sanctions at the international level more generally.