Turkey wants to see concrete steps from NATO on issues concerning Turkey’s national security, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
“At a time when alliance solidarity must be at its highest level, the policy of making up excuses must be abandoned and Turkey’s rightful expectations, especially regarding sanctions and support in the fight against terrorism, must be met,” Erdoğan said.
As a country “paying a price” for its membership in NATO, Turkey wants to see concrete steps rather than open-ended diplomatic statements on issues concerning Turkey’s national security, he said. “We believe an enlargement policy that disregards fundamental security concerns will benefit neither us nor NATO.”
Although the vital role Ankara plays in NATO and other international organizations is clear, Erdoğan said they are still having to talk about lifting sanctions imposed by some of the allies. “We can’t put aside the current sanctions against us by Sweden,” he added.
“Neither in the fulfillment of its security needs nor in its legitimate cross-border operations as well as in its 40-year-long fight against terrorism has Turkey received the support it has expected from its allies,” the president said.
“Let alone any support or contribution, our country has most of the time been exposed to overt or covert sanctions, embargoes, threats, pressures and blackmail. We have come to know the double standards [of NATO] very well in this process,” Erdoğan said, adding that “we have told our counterparts [about this] to their faces at every opportunity.”
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Monday that negotiations with Turkey on Sweden’s membership in NATO will take more time, the Anadolu news agency reported, citing official Swedish news agency TT.
Andersson said a meeting she had with Erdoğan was “good and positive.”
“Sweden and Finland will continue bilateral and tripartite negotiations with Turkey in the near future, but these will take some time,” she said.
Stressing that she was looking forward to the upcoming negotiations with Ankara, Andersson said Sweden was one of the first countries that classified the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as terrorists.
Ankara accuses Sweden of being lenient on the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the US.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last week — a decision spurred by Russia’s war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24.
Ankara is objecting to the NATO membership of Finland and Sweden, citing security concerns and accusing them of supporting terrorist groups.