AA / Ankara / Tuncay Cakmak
The President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has made it known that Turkey will say “no” to Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
Turkey’s Head of State made statements on Thursday regarding Finland and Sweden’s application for membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in response to growing Russian threat in the region and its war in Ukraine. He answered questions from young people during a meeting organized within the National Library of Ankara.
Erdogan recalled the clear and displayed proximity of these two countries towards certain terrorist organizations which threaten the security of Turkey and the Turks, in particular the PKK.
“Sweden and Finland host the terrorist organizations PKK and YPG, offer them offices and hang their rags everywhere. They finance and supply weapons to these terrorist groups that are rampant in my country. We cannot allow terrorists to be represented in within NATO, a security organization,” he explained.
The Turkish president also regretted that in the past, other countries which support terrorist groups that are enemies of Turkey have been able to join NATO.
“Germany, Greece … were able to join. Greece and France left it and then came back. Unfortunately the Turkish governments at the time allowed their entry. As a result, the United States set up military bases in Dedeagaç (Alexandroupoli, Greece) The terrorists of FETO (perpetrator of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey) are walking quietly in Europe passing through Greece. We give them the names of the terrorists to be extradited, but they ignore them,” he said.
The Turkish president indicated that other member countries seek to discuss with Sweden and Finland about Turkey’s sensitivities and expectations.
“Why would we make the same mistake again, as with Greece? Finland and Sweden we will play the same scenario anyway”, he insisted, underlining his lack of confidence in the possible guarantees that could be advanced.
And to continue: “For these reasons, we have informed our friends concerned that we will say ‘no’ to the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. If an Alliance country objects, a third country cannot accede to it”.
Regarding the war initiated by Russia against Ukraine, the Turkish President highlighted Turkey’s diplomatic efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict.
“We are pursuing a balanced policy towards Ukraine and Russia, and in this context I have absolutely no intention of cutting my ties with MM Putin and Zelensky,” he insisted.
“We will continue our efforts with the leaders of the two countries to prevent a new world war”, he concluded, recalling the strong ties between Turkey and these two countries.
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