Allies should encourage Sweden, Finland to meet Turkey’s security needs: FM

Allies should encourage Sweden, Finland to meet Turkey’s security needs: FM


NATO allies should encourage Finland and Sweden to take concrete steps regarding Turkey’s concerns about the “support given to terror groups,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on May 27.

The minister reminded that Turkey’s opposition to Finland and Sweden’s NATO bid is due to their “support to terrorist organizations.”

“Reasons for why Turkey is objecting to the candidacy of these two countries are very clear: The relations of these two countries with terrorist organizations such as PKK/YPG, DHKP-C, FETÖ and their support to those terrorist organizations,” Çavuşoğlu said, speaking at the joint press conference after the Trilateral Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Romania and Poland.

“These countries need to end supporting terrorism. In addition, the defense industry restrictions against us must end. Such decisions are not taken against friends and allies… I hope Finland and Sweden understood our message very well. Other allied countries should encourage these two countries to take concrete steps regarding Turkey’s concerns,” Çavuşoğlu noted.

NATO’s security and solidarity are important to all and valid for all allies, he said.

“We understand the security concerns of Finland and Sweden, but as many of our allies within NATO openly say, everyone needs to understand Turkey’s legitimate security concerns as well. That’s why we want the fight against terrorism to be clearly included in the strategic concept,” the minister stated.

Speaking about the new strategic concept prepared in NATO, Çavuşoğlu said, “Our demand is very clear: Support to terrorism should be stopped. The determination to fight all forms of terrorism should be included in the new strategic concept.

Recalling the meeting held with the delegations of the two countries in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said: “The support and information given by the two countries to terrorist organizations, especially the PKK and YPG, were shared once again. The delegations received these documents and returned to their capitals. We are waiting for concrete steps from these countries.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief foreign policy adviser and spokesperson İbrahim Kalın and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal hosted the Swedish delegation headed by state secretary Oscar Stenstrom and the Finnish delegation headed by Foreign Ministry undersecretary Jukka Salovaara on May 25.

Ankara also expects the lifting of the defense restrictions against Turkey, the minister said.

“I hope Finland and Sweden understood us very well. We are always in favor of dialogue, we hope that these expectations are fulfilled in a concrete way,” Çavuşoğlu emphasized.

The minister said an approach to convince Turkey in another way would be a mistake. “An approach like ‘we can convince Turkey in time’ is not correct,” Çavuşoğlu stated.

“If they want to become a member of NATO, they have to end support to terrorist organizations,” he explained.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. NATO allies, except for Turkey, have welcomed their appeal.