ISTANBUL ( Associated Press) – Turkey’s president highlighted the activities of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party as part of his country’s objections to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, saying both nations would pose a security risk to Turkey.
The group known as the PKK has been rebelling against Turkey for 38 years, causing tens of thousands of deaths. It has been designated a terrorist entity by the United States and the European Union including Sweden and Finland.
However, the West’s attitude towards the PKK’s Syrian wing, the People’s Protection Units or YPG, has led to acrimony between Ankara and other NATO members. The YPG is the backbone of the forces involved in the US-led fight against the Islamic State group.
“Turkey says the entry of Sweden and Finland involves risks to its own security and the organisation’s future,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote in an article published by The Economist late Monday.
Referring to the central tenet of NATO’s mutual defense policy, he said: “We have every right to expect countries that have the second largest NATO military under Article 5 to stop recruitment, fundraising and propaganda activities.” Will hope to protect. PKK’s.”
All NATO members must approve the bids of the two Nordic countries to join the alliance, which were prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Turkey has said it will not allow his entry until steps are taken, but NATO leaders are looking forward to a NATO summit As an opportunity for historic expansion into Spain at the end of June.
Erdogan reiterated calls to extradite Ankara people suspected of terroristic activities from Finland and Sweden and to support “counter-terrorist operations of NATO members”.
He also said the arms embargo was “incompatible with the spirit of military partnership”.
Sweden and Finland were among countries that imposed defense export sanctions on Turkey following a 2019 incursion into north-east Syria, aimed at driving back the YPG. In recent days, Erdogan has promised another cross-border operation against the group.
The president determined Turkey’s role in the “largest military alliance in history” since joining in 1952 and called on other NATO members to persuade Sweden and Finland to change their position.
“Where Sweden and Finland stand on national security concerns and the views of other countries with which they wish to ally will determine the extent to which Turkey will want to ally with those states,” he said.