West should recognize YPG as terror organization: Erdoğan
The Western countries should recognize the YPG group as a terrorist organization as they already have designated the illegal PKK a terror group, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on May 20.
“They have now made a different cover for the EU’s recognition of the PKK as a terrorist organization. They said they consider the PKK a terrorist organization, so why don’t you recognize the YPG as a terrorist organization? YPG is a terrorist group produced by the PKK,” he told reporters after Friday prayers.
Not only the EU, but the United States also have been in contact with these groups, he said, adding, “Currently, terrorist organizations are performing all kinds of demonstrations in many European countries, especially in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Finland.”
Erdoğan emphasized that the governments of these countries give all kinds of assurances, although Turkey has expressed to them that these are terrorist organizations and that their crimes are obvious.
They do all kinds of rallies in Finland and Sweden, especially in Germany, and these states also reject Turkey’s extradition requests for the members of these groups, the president said. Elaborating on Turkey’s objection to Finland and Sweden’s NATO bid, Erdoğan said he had a discussion with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and will talk to leaders of Britain and Finland on May 21, along with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
“We will continue to hold these talks in order not to interrupt the telephone diplomacy,” he said and reiterated that Ankara will not endorse Finland and Sweden’s NATO bid while they were harboring terror groups.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join the military alliance this week. All 30 NATO members need to approve the entry of new members.
Ankara is objecting to their membership over security concerns, accusing them of supporting terror groups.
Several European countries, including Sweden and Finland, restricted arms exports to Turkey following the country’s cross-border operation into northeast Syria in 2019, and Turkey asks for lifting these bans.
Turkey also accuses Sweden and Finland of harboring the members of the FETÖ group, which Ankara accuses of being behind the failed coup attempt in 2016.
Both Helsinki and Stockholm have failed to agree to Ankara’s requests for the extradition of 33 members of the PKK and FETÖ, the Turkish Justice Ministry said last week.
Turkey’s approval of Finland and Sweden’s application to join the Western military alliance is crucial because NATO makes decisions by consensus. Each of its 30 member countries has the power to veto a membership bid. Turkey is the only ally to have clearly voiced its opposition.
Finland and Sweden have proposed to work with Turkey toward eliminating the Turkish government’s concerns regarding their NATO membership, but Erdoğan earlier said they should not bother to come to Ankara to convince Turkey.