Turkey not to allow Nordic country’s NATO bid as long as 'terrorists' take part in parliaments: Erdoğan
As long as the “terrorists take part in their parliaments”, Turkey will not allow them to enter NATO, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on June 8 elaborating on Sweden and Finland’s bid to join the alliance.
“As you all know, Sweden, at the moment, is a country where the PKK/YPG/PYD terrorist organization runs rampant. Even in their parliaments, there are terrorists,” Erdoğan said speaking at a joint press conference with Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro.
“As long as these terrorists remain in their parliaments, and as long as terrorist organizations continue to hold demonstrations with the pictures of terrorist leaders in the streets of Stockholm, and as long as they do this under the protection of the Swedish police, and as long as Swedish state television continues to broadcast interviews with terrorist leaders, we cannot tell them ‘Go ahead, please, join NATO’,” the president stated.
The same goes for Finland, too, he said noting that the Nordic country is also “engaged in many similar activities, unfortunately.”
One should keep in mind that NATO is an organization of security, it is not an organization that “facilitates terror,” he stated.
Stressing that Turkey does not want to experience, with Sweden and Finland, what it experienced with Greece and France, President Erdoğan said, “Greece had left NATO and our predecessors let it rejoin. France rejoined. What happened? “
He questioned the military bases established by the United States on the Greek territories.
“Where are the 5+4, that is 9 U.S. bases right now? They were established in Greece. Against whom were they established?
The answer they give is ‘Against Russia.’ We don’t buy it, take no offence,” Erdogan said.
He pointed out that Greece now owes 400 billion euros to Europe. “Nonetheless, European countries, I will not mention them by name, deliver significant amounts of weaponry, planes and helicopters to Greece. Likewise, there is also the support of the U.S. It gives to them. Against whom?” the president asked.
Erdoğan said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told him “‘let others not come between us, let the two of us hold all the talks without any other country coming between us.’”
But as if they had never held these talks, Mitsotakis made speeches against Turkey and Turkey’s interests at the U.S. Senate a couple of weeks later, he said. “Later on, he made similar things at Davos. Take no offence but we favor principled politics, and we as Turkey don’t agree to politics devoid of principles,” the president emphasized.
Erdoğan warns Greece to demilitarize Aegean islands
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 9 warned Greece to demilitarize islands in the Aegean, saying he was “not joking” with such comments.
Turkey says Greece has been building a military presence on Aegean in violation of treaties that guarantee the unarmed statues of the islands. It argues that the islands were ceded to Greece on condition that they be kept demilitarized.
Greece argues that Turkey has deliberately misinterpreted the treaties regarding armed forces on its eastern islands and says it has legal grounds to defend itself following hostile actions by Ankara including a long-standing threat of war if it extends its territorial waters.
Erdoğan’s warning comes amid a new escalation in tensions between the NATO allies that have a history of disputes over a range of issues such as mineral exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and rival claims in the Aegean Sea.
“We invite Greece to stop arming the islands that have non-military status and to act in accordance with international agreements,” Erdoğan said on the final day of military exercises that were taking place near İzmir, on Turkey’s Aegean coast. “I’m not joking, I’m speaking seriously. This nation is determined.”
“We warn Greece to stay away from dreams and actions that it will regret, and to come to his senses,” Erdoğan said.
“Turkey won’t give up on its rights in the Aegean, in the same way that it will not stand back from using its rights stemming from international agreement.”