Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson discussed bilateral relations and the latter’s NATO membership on Saturday in a phone conversation. According to Ankara’s Communications Directorate, the two counterparts agreed that “solidarity” is an essential value within the Alliance in terms of the security of member countries and the collective security of the transatlantic and European region.
Erdogan told Andersson that Turkey, so far, fully supports NATO’s open door policy based on the Alliance’s founding document, Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty signed in 1949 The treaty clearly states that NATO membership is open to “any European state in a position to pursue the principles of this treaty and contribute to the security of the North Atlantic region.” The Ankara president noted that Turkey has long expressed resentment over Sweden’s support for so-called organizations controlled by the PKK/YPG/PYD terrorist organizations.
President @RTErdogan spoke by telephone with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden.
The call concerned Turkey-Sweden relations and Sweden’s application for NATO membership.
— Directorate of Communications of the Republic of Turkey (@Communications) May 21, 2022
President Tayyip Erdogan had said that NATO should not expect Turkey to approve the membership application of Baltic countries Sweden and Finland without first extraditing the “terrorists”. “which the Turkish government has been demanding for several years. The Swedish and Finnish delegations should not come to Turkey to persuade Ankara to “support their NATO membership”, Erdogan reiterated. He condemned the continued support of the two Baltic countries and the alleged supply of arms to the PKK/YPG/PYD terrorist organizations, which he said were encouraged by the United States and Sweden. These terrorist organizations have their headquarters in Damascus and are also supported by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, as well as by Iran, Iraq and Libya.
Erdogan accused Sweden and Finland of harboring and financing ‘terrorists’
Erdogan accused Sweden and Finland of harboring and financing “terrorists”. Turkey has criticized Sweden for neglecting its more than 33 terrorist extradition requests over the past five years. These terrorists, according to the ruling government in Ankara, have links to Kurdish militants who attempted a coup in 2016 to overthrow Erdogan’s government. Turkey also blamed Fethullah Gulen, a reclusive US-based Muslim cleric, for the coup.
Erdogan also recently ridiculed the United States for lifting sanctions against areas of Syria that are a stronghold of the nationalist YPG/PKK terror group. Washington calls these “militias” “allies” in the fight against ISIS/Daesh in Syria. Ankara accused Sweden and Finland of backing Kurdish rebels and called their stance “unacceptable and outrageous”.
During his phone call with the Swedish leader, Turkey’s Erdogan stressed that Stockholm still supports FETO or the presence of the terrorist organization Fethullah. He highlighted the “political, financial and military support that Sweden had provided to terrorist organizations”. Erdogan stressed that such acts must stop. Noting that the claim that the PKK/PYD/YPG was fighting DAESH did not reflect reality, President Erdogan said Turkey expected Sweden to take “concrete steps” that showed it shared the Ankara’s concerns about the PKK terrorist organization and its extensions into Syria and Iraq.
The pair also discussed Sweden’s restrictions on Turkey’s defense industry following Turkey’s 2019 offensive in northeast Syria, dubbed Operation Peace Spring. The military operation launched by Ankara’s military forces in October 2019 aimed to eliminate Kurdish rebels, considered “terrorists” by Ankara.
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