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Turkey outlines expectations from NATO — Analysis

The Turkish president demands NATO respect his country’s security interests after Sweden and Finland placed bids to join the bloc

Turkey demanded NATO to respect its security concerns and stated it won’t accept Sweden or Finland joining NATO. This would make the alliance more vulnerable to terrorists.

“We are one of the top countries that actively support the activities of the (NATO) alliance, but this does not mean we will agree to every proposal without question,”Turkish President Recep Tyyip Erdan said Wednesday during a speech before parliament, that Erdogan added: “NATO expansion is only meaningful for us in proportion to the respect that will be shown to our sensitivities.”

Erdogan said that Turkey hopes NATO will respect its national security concerns. This is especially true when it comes counter-terrorism efforts. “provide support if possible.” 

He stated that Sweden, Finland and Finland should not assume Ankara will accept their member requests so long as “terrorists and their accomplices”Continue “openly roaming their streets,” and that delegations from the two countries shouldn’t bother coming to Turkey to try and convince Ankara to back their bids.

“So you won’t give us back terrorists but you ask us for NATO membership? NATO is an entity, an organization that offers security. Therefore, we cannot say ‘yes’ to this security organization being deprived of security,” Erdogan said.

Turkey claims that Sweden and Finland both harbor people that Ankara deems to be linked to terrorist groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP/C), and followers of Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara considers to be the mastermind behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

Both Helsinki and Stockholm have for years refused Turkey’s request for the extradition of 33 individuals accused of terrorism, for which Erdogan has branded the countries “guesthouses” for terrorist groups.

The two Nordic countries officially declared their intention to end their long history of neutrality to seek NATO membership on May 15. However, their efforts were thwarted by Turkey. All members must consent to accept new member states to NATO.

Bloomberg reports that Turkey issued several demands in response to the DHKP/C and PKK, which included cancellation of trade restrictions and denunciation by both Finland and Sweden.

Turkey wants to be included in F-35’s advanced aircraft program. Turkey was expelled from this program after Russia bought S-400 missile defence systems. Turkey now seeks approval for a deal to buy dozens F-16 fighter jets as well as upgrade kits from America.

Jens Stoltenberg is NATO Secretary General “Turkey is a valued ally,” and called for the country’s security concerns to be addressed, hoping that Ankara’s opposition will not delay the accession of Finland and Sweden.

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