Turkey’s NATO stance reflects consideration for alliance’s security - ednews.net

27 June, Monday

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Turkey’s NATO stance reflects consideration for alliance’s security

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Turkey’s reservations on Sweden and Finland joining NATO reflect Ankara’s considerations for the alliance’s security and future, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said on Wednesday.
“It would be unthinkable for NATO, which has faced criticism for two decades for its failure to promote cooperation and coordination between its members in the war on terror, to consider acceding to any nation that has not made a clear decision on terrorist organizations,” Altun said in an article for Swedish newspaper Expressen
He said that another ally's breach of the security of any member of this organization would pose a clear threat to NATO itself and its future.
Altun underlined that the PKK has been targeting Turkey's security forces and civilians, "including teachers, doctors and even children," since 1984.
He noted that it carried out "one of the deadliest attacks in its history six years ago and detonated a bomb on Ankara's main square that claimed 35 innocent lives.”
“I am convinced that the Swedish people would have known exactly what the Turks feel today, if the Turkish government housed a terrorist unit that was responsible for a suicide attack on Stortorget,” he added.
Altun also mentioned that Turkey seized Swedish anti-tank weapons during its crackdown on the PKK, while PKK members continued their recruitment, financing and propaganda efforts in Sweden.
“This raised serious questions among the Turkish people regarding the reliability of our nation's future NATO allies. PKK members have waved their so-called flag in Stockholm – which further deepened mistrust and violated international norms regarding the promotion of terrorism, terrorist financing and recruitment.”
Turkey last week said it would not view the applications of Finland and Sweden positively, mainly citing their history of support to terrorist organizations, including the PKK and its Syrian wing, the YPG. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sweden and Finland rejected extraditing people with links to the PKK and Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the terrorist group behind the defeated coup of 2016 in Turkey.
Any membership bid must be unanimously approved by NATO’s 30 members.
Turkey said it wanted the Nordic countries to halt their support to terrorist groups present on their territory, and lift bans on sales of some weapons to Turkey.
Sweden and Finland had imposed arms export embargoes on Turkey after its military operation seeking to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates of the YPG in 2019.

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