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‘Not in Question’: Is NATO Panicking Over Turkey’s Possible Exit?

The Northern Alliance’s spokeswoman says Turkey’s membership in NATO “not in question” amid positive changes in Erdogan’s relations with Moscow.

According to NATO's spokeswoman Oana Lungescu, Turkey's membership in the Alliance is "not in question".

She said: "Turkey is a valued ally, making substantial contributions to NATO's joint efforts. Turkey takes full part in the Alliance's consensus-based decisions as we confront the biggest security challenges in a generation."

NATO has assured Turkey it's membership is safe and the statement comes in response to "speculative press reports regarding NATO's stance regarding the failed coup in Turkey and Turkey's NATO membership".

An employee of a flag-making factory folds a Russian flag as a Turkish flag adorns the display at left, in Istanbul, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Earlier this week Daily Express has published a statement by Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu saying that Turkey may consider an exit from NATO in case if the alliance won't provide additional support after the failed coup attempt.

According to the publication, Cavusoglu underscored that if the West "loses" Turkey, "it would be because of its own mistakes, not Ankara's improving ties with Russia, China or the Middle East."

Later, Cavusoglu, in his interview to Turkey's Anadolu agency debunked this statement calling it a fake.

From right: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Constantine Palace - Sputnik International
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What's not fake, though, are Cavusoglu's words regarding Turkey's intentions of military cooperation with Russia.

"The decision to increase cooperation with Russia in the field of defense is not a move against NATO. There are NATO countries that cooperate with foreign states in the defense sector, including importing missiles," Cavusoglu said in an interview with Turkey's Anadolu news service.

"Until now Turkey sought to cooperate with NATO members, but we are not satisfied with the results, so started looking for other [partners]," the minister said.

All these statements come in the wake of meeting of Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin which took place on August 10th. During their meeting, Erdogan and Putin said they would increase bilateral military and intelligence cooperation in Syria.

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