Turkey will hold panels in Europe starting in Brussels, Belgium later this week to explain its objections to Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.
The communications department of the Turkish presidency has launched a public diplomacy campaign to voice its position against the alleged support by Sweden and Finland of Kurdish terrorism and will hold the panel in Brussels on Friday named “the future of NATO after the war in Ukraine,” Anadolu said. The city is the headquarters of NATO as well as the European Union.
Turkey has called on the two countries to stop supporting and harbouring terrorists, in reference to operatives and sympathisers of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a four-decade war for autonomy against the Turkish military, and a PKK affiliate in northern Syria. It also says both governments need to end arms embargoes on the country as a condition for them joining NATO.
The communications directorate will hold a second panel in the Spanish capital of Madrid on June 28 ahead of a NATO Summit in the city, Anadolu said.
NATO members are expected to endorse a new Strategic Concept for providing a collective assessment of the security challenges facing the alliance at the summit in Spain, which will take place on June 29-30 in Madrid.
Fahrettin Altun, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s head of media and communications, has also made interviews with Swedish and Finnish media organisations as a part of the public diplomacy campaign, urging the two countries to change course on their approach toward the issue of terrorism, Anadolu said.
An agreement with Turkey could still be struck by the time the alliance convenes for the Madrid summit, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters earlier this month.
Negotiations with Turkey to end its objections to Finland and Sweden joining the alliance will continue, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday. All of the alliance’s 30 members must approve any new entrant/s.