Global Times recently reported that the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, attacked a three-person photo taken earlier this week of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Raisi, describing Erdogan’s appearance in this photo as a “challenge” to NATO. The photo was taken on the 19th, when Raisi, Putin and Erdogan held three-way talks in Tehran, the capital of Iran. In the photo, Raisi stood in the middle between Putin and Erdogan smiling, and the three held hands and gestured to the camera. Baerbock claimed that Ankara’s membership in the alliance makes the picture of the Turkish and Russian leaders “incomprehensible.” Although Turkey is a NATO member, unlike other NATO members, Turkey has chosen neutrality in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, while NATO as a whole regards Russia as a threat. According to the Kremlin, Putin thanked the Turkish side for mediating and providing a platform for negotiating the grain exports and transportation issues. In Baerbock’s view, this group photo proves the importance of standing with partners that share the same values because “there are other members who don’t support our values, and they also unite when they have doubts.” Some netizens did not agree with Baerbock, saying that Turkey is not a puppet of the United States.
Source: Global Times, July 23, 2022