20:01 GMT05 August 2020
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - NATO does little to ensure Turkey's security and instead creates a lot of problems for Islamic nations, Temel Karamollaoglu, the presidential candidate from Turkey's right-wing Felicity Party (SP), told Sputnik in an interview.

    "As for NATO, we joined the alliance because of certain circumstances. We permanently see a unilateral understanding of this alliance by NATO. NATO does not make a major contribution to our security. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO changed its strategy, the projects of the alliance are aimed at provoking chaos in Islamic countries, but it is also inappropriate," Karamollaoglu said.

    According to the politician, Ankara plans to develop ties with Moscow, Tehran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and other Arab states.

    The candidate said that US foreign policy was much to be desired, adding that the situation worsened after Donald Trump became president.

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

    "Serious ties with the United States are possible only on a mutually beneficial basis and we will thoroughly keep an eye on it. International relations should not depend upon the position of only one party," Karamollaoglu added.

    On June 24, Turks will elect a new president. The list of presidential candidates includes Karamollaoglu, incumbent president Recep Tayyip Erdogan from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Muharrem Ince from the Republican People's Party (CHP), candidate from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas, Meral Aksener from the Iyi (Good) Party, and Dogu Perincek from the left-wing Patriotic Party (VATAN).

    Turkey has been a NATO member 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), a terrorist group banned in Turkey.

    Related:

    Many 'Thorny Issues' Between Turkey and NATO - Analyst
    Possible US Sanctions Against Turkey May Lead to NATO Split – Turkish MP
    95% of Turkey's Population Against Alliance With NATO, US – Former General
    Tags:
    security, Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), Justice and Development Party (AKP), NATO, Turkey
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