The admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO entails risks to Turkey’s security and the future of the alliance, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, warning these two NATO-aspirant countries and other allies to end their double standards in the fight against terrorism and not to forget Turkey’s contributions to the alliance’s security over the past seven decades.
“Turkiye maintains that the admission of Sweden and Finland entails risks for its own security and the organization’s future. We have every right to expect those countries, which will expect NATO’s second-largest army to come to their defense under Article 5, to prevent the recruitment, fundraising and propaganda activities of the PKK, which the European Union and America consider a terrorist entity,” Erdoğan exclusively wrote for British magazine The Economist.
Turkey, Sweden and Finland held a meeting last week for the Nordic states’ bid to enter NATO, where Ankara’s expectations were formally delivered.
“We provided clear evidence to authorities in these countries and waited for action from them. Also, Turkiye wants these countries to support the anti-terror operations of NATO members. Terrorism is a threat to all members and the candidate countries should recognize this reality before joining. Unless they take necessary steps, Turkiye will not change its position on this issue.”
Erdoğan explained Turkey’s long-term commitments to the NATO and collective security of the alliance.
“While our partners have always appreciated Turkish contributions to NATO’s collective security mission, they quickly forgot about them when there were no threats to their national security. Our partners who only remember Turkiye’s importance in turbulent times, such as the crisis in the Balkans, mistakenly thought that long-term stability could be achieved without Turkiye,” he said.
Erdoğan has recalled that Turkey has always highlighted the need for NATO to cooperate better on intelligence and military issues when dealing with terror organizations, not only to prevent terrorist attacks but also to curb terrorist financing and recruitment within NATO borders.
“Largely abandoned, our country dealt with all those crises by itself and paid a high price during that effort. Ironically, any steps taken under the NATO umbrella would have prepared the alliance for future conflicts and crises at its borders,” he stated.
He underlined that it was unfortunate that some NATO members fully failed to appreciate certain threats to Turkey, while all NATO allies accept the country’s critical importance to the alliance.
Hurriyet Daily News