Turkey’s president asks NATO to respect his country’s security interests after Sweden and Finland offered to join the bloc
Turkey demanded that NATO respect its security concerns and said it would not accept offers from Sweden and Finland to join NATO because it would leave the military alliance less secure in because both countries are said to be harboring terrorists.
“We are one of the main countries that actively support the activities of the alliance (of NATO), but that does not mean that we will accept all proposals without asking questions,” he added. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a speech in parliament on Wednesday, adding that “NATO enlargement only makes sense to us in proportion to the respect that will be shown to our sensitivities.”
Erdogan added that Turkey expects NATO to respect its national security concerns, especially regarding counter-terrorism efforts, and “provide support if possible.”
He added that Sweden and Finland should not expect Ankara to accept their membership applications as long as “terrorists and their accomplices” Continue “walking their streets openly”, and that the delegations of the two countries should not bother to come to Turkey to try to convince Ankara to support their offers.
“So you are not giving us back the terrorists but you are asking us to join NATO? NATO is a security entity, a security organization. Therefore, we cannot say ‘yes’ to this private security organization,” Erdogan said.
Turkey claims that Sweden and Finland are both harboring people that Ankara considers to be linked to terrorist groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP/C), and supporters of Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara considers to be the mastermind behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.
Both Helsinki and Stockholm have for years refused Turkey’s request to extradite 33 individuals accused of terrorism, for which Erdogan called the countries “guesthouses” for terror groups.
On May 15, the two Nordic nations formally decided to break with their history of neutrality and seek NATO membership, but their attempts were undermined by Turkey because accepting new countries into the bloc requires the unanimous consent of all members.
According to an article published by Bloomberg, Turkey has since issued a list of demands, including that Finland and Sweden officially denounce the PKK and DHKP/C, as well as the removal of the trade restrictions they imposed on Turkey. .
Turkey is also asking to be reinstated in the F-35 advanced aircraft program, from which it was excluded after buying S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, and wants approval for a deal for the purchase of dozens of F-16 fighter jets. and upgrade kits from the United States.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “Turkey is a valuable ally” and called for addressing the country’s security concerns, hoping that Ankara’s opposition will not delay Finland and Sweden’s membership.
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