Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal departed on June 19 for Brussels where they will have discussions over the documents being negotiated between the parties for Sweden’s and Finland’s applications for NATO membership.
Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO on May 18 with hopes that the process will be completed as soon as possible.
Türkiye says it won’t approve the two Nordic states’ bid to join the alliance until they give written assurances on the fight against terrorism, namely the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, YPG.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg hoped that a necessary green light could be given at NATO’s summit later this month, while he is also involved in the talks between Türkiye and the NATO-applicants Sweden and Finland.
Ahead of his visit to Brussels, Kalın said, “If the Swedish government will not take steps to end them [supporting terrorists], then there is no possibility of progress in these negotiations.”
The Turkish delegation will first hold a meeting with the cabinet chief of the NATO Secretary General and then with their Swedish and Finnish counterparts, Kalın stated.
Speaking to reporters on June 18, he reminded that the process initiated by the two countries for NATO membership continues with various negotiations.
He recalled that the Swedish and Finnish delegations had a meeting in Ankara two weeks ago. “Afterwards, we clearly and unequivocally laid out our own basic principles on how this process would proceed, both through telephone diplomacy and through an exchange of papers,” Kalın said.
Türkiye’s well-known expectations are, Kalın said and continued, “The end of the existence of terrorist organizations such as the PKK, PYD, YPG, FETÖ, DHKP-C and their front organizations, especially in Sweden and Finland, and the prevention of collecting money, recruiting personnel, and making activities and propaganda against Türkiye are the basis of our expectations.”
NATO alliance is a security alliance, not an economic cooperation organization, nor it is a travel or tourism organization, he said. “It is a security organization and there are some basic security-related principles that it has put forward for more than 70 years. The new member countries must also comply with these principles,” Kalın stated.
“It is not a choice but a necessity for the member states to take steps to meet its security concerns. We have clearly expressed this to the other parties,” he added.
Reminding that images of the YPG/PKK were projected onto buildings in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm recently, Kalin said, “Actually, these images are one of the most striking examples of how much the PKK terrorist organization is deployed in this country and how spoiled it is. If the Swedish government still does not take steps to end and eliminate these images, despite these challenges, then these negotiations, of course, have no possibility of progress,” he said.
Noting that the Swedish government has good intentions and that they will take steps in this direction, İbrahim Kalın stated that Türkiye wants to see concrete evidence of what these steps are.
Hurriyet Daily News