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  HOME PAGE 27/06/2022 05:53 
18.05.2022 18:42 News >> Sweden's NATO Membership Not Possible Unless Ankara's Legitimate Concerns Addressed: Turkish Official

Sweden's NATO Membership Not Possible Unless Ankara's Legitimate Concerns Addressed: Turkish Official

'One NATO member's indifferent attitude to others' security poses clear risk to alliance's identity,' says Fahrettin Altun.

Sweden joining the NATO alliance will not be possible unless Turkiye's legitimate concerns are addressed, Turkiye's communications chief said, stressing the importance of taking a clear stand against terror groups before joining the alliance.
"It is unthinkable for NATO to have a positive approach to the membership of countries that have not taken a sufficiently determined position against terrorist groups," Fahrettin Altun wrote in a guest op-ed for Swedish daily Expressen.
Explaining the reasons behind Turkiye's attitude towards the NATO bids of Sweden and Finland, he stressed that they are related to both the future of the military alliance in principle and Ankara's sensitivity on security issues.
Altun said Turkiye has one of the most powerful armies across the world and sees NATO as a guarantor of peace and stability, that is why Ankara traditionally supports NATO's open-door policy.
Turkiye has given full support to NATO enlargement since the end of the Cold War era, he said.
However, he continued, candidate countries absolutely must coordinate with alliance members on an issue such as terrorism, which in recent years has seriously threatened the international system and the national security of states.
"After the criticism that NATO has suffered for not providing enough cooperation and coordination in the fight against terrorism in the last 20 years, it is unthinkable to (positively) approach the membership of countries that have not taken a sufficiently determined position regarding terrorist organizations," he added.
Altun also warned that if one of the members of an organization with the slogan "All for one, one for all" is indifferent about the safety of others, this poses a clear risk to the identity of NATO.
Swedish case, Turkiye's concerns
Altun said Turkiye has faced attacks by various terror groups for nearly 40 years, among them is the terrorist PKK – also listed as a terrorist group by the EU – which can be defined as an "umbrella" for many terror groups.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.
Altun told how last August, the PKK was found to have used Swedish-made AT-4 anti-tank missiles to attack Turkiye's anti-terror forces, and also cited the terror group's recruitment, terrorist financing, and propaganda activities on Swedish soil as raising the question of how reliable Sweden is as an ally to Turkiye.
A recent PKK terrorist-linked meeting hosted in Stockholm has "unfortunately" deepened the Turkish nation's distrust, he added.
"Sweden's efforts to become a part of NATO without changing its stance on this issue are unacceptable not only for Turkiye but also for other countries that are the target of terrorism," Altun said, criticizing double standards on terror groups.
Turkiye's allies must take a stand against those who portray themselves as political refugees to Swedish society but who have been involved in crimes and ruined the lives of innocent people in Turkiye, he said.
"I am sure that if a terrorist group had carried out a suicide attack in Stortorget (in Stockholm), killing dozens of people and the Turkish government had protected this group, the Swedish people would have felt the way we feel today. We are glad that Sweden does not face such a terrorist threat," Altun added. -



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