Amid the row over Sweden and Finland joining the NATO military alliance, the conflict of interest doesn’t seem to be settled any time soon as the Turkish president has now demanded a “written response ” to the security concerns of the Nordic countries. In a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserted that Ankara’s position will not change until Sweden and Finland assure Ankara of resolve all grievances raised by Turkey. He told Stoltenberg that Turkey wanted a written response from both countries.
In particular, Turkey has on several occasions expressed its concerns regarding Finland’s and Sweden’s “unconditional” support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Self-Defense Forces (YPG). Ankara considers both organizations to be terrorist groups. According to Turkey, it proved that Sweden and Finland supported various terrorist organizations, but none of the Nordic nations acted against them. “During the conversation, President Erdogan underlined the need for action by Sweden and Finland that would allay Turkey’s legitimate concerns. The President underlined that progress in this process is impossible without the obligations provided by these states regarding the paradigm shift in counterterrorism and defense industry cooperation,” Erdogan’s office said in a press release.
Meanwhile, the NATO chief took to the microblogging site and called his phone conversation with Erdogan “constructive”. Stoltenberg said he discussed the importance of addressing Turkey’s legitimate security concerns in the fight against terrorism.
Turkey warns Nordic countries to delay NATO candidacy for a year
Earlier on Tuesday, a lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and chairman of the Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Akif Cagatay Kilic, warned the Nordic country to resolve all Ankara’s grievances before the NATO’s most anticipated summit due to begin in Madrid on June 29. He warned to delay his membership for more than a year, “if he does not address Turkey’s concerns”.
Kilic further noted that Turkey is the second largest army in the US-backed military union and provided the drones that help Ukraine defend itself. “We deserve greater respect,” he added. It should be mentioned that last month NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg accepted Sweden and Finland’s application for membership, fearing Russia’s intention to harm the Nordic countries. However, Turkey, which had previously warned of hampering Sweden and Finland’s plans, blocked the initial process of the US-backed military alliance.