President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says if the two Nordic countries stick to the conditions set in a trilateral memorandum of understanding, Türkiye will not oppose their NATO membership applications.

President Erdogan also says Türkiye will continue to respond to
President Erdogan also says Türkiye will continue to respond to "constant provocations" by Greece and violation of Turkish airspace. (Reuters)

Signing a memorandum to address Türkiye's terrorism concerns was the first step, and now it is time for Sweden and Finland to implement their commitments, the Turkish president has said.

Speaking at the National Defence University's graduation ceremony in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday if the two Nordic countries stick to the conditions set in the trilateral agreement, Türkiye will not oppose their NATO membership.

But if we see any signs of stalling or hypocrisy, we will return to our old position, he added.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join the alliance in May, a decision spurred by Ukraine conflict.

But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, voiced objections to the membership bids, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

Ahead of NATO's Madrid summit, Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden on Tuesday signed a memorandum following four-way talks in Madrid. 

The agreement allows the two Nordic countries to become NATO members, but conditions them to take steps on Türkiye's terrorism concerns, and lift an arms embargo on Ankara.

Following the agreement, NATO formally invited the two Nordic countries to join the 30-member military alliance.

READ MORE: NATO records YPG/PYD, FETO as terror groups for first time: Türkiye

READ MORE: Erdogan: Sweden to extradite terrorists, memorandum a diplomatic victory

Türkiye to respond Greek provocations

Touching on ties with Greece, Erdogan said Türkiye is aware of "distraction activities that are carried out by using Greece."

He said Türkiye will continue to respond to "constant provocations" by Greece and violation of Turkish airspace.

Türkiye will protect its land, sea and air borders on the country's west, without any concession of rights in the Aegean Sea, and by making full use of the opportunities arising from international agreements, he added.

Erdogan said Athens does not seem to resolve conflicts through dialogue and negotiation. "I hope Greeks, through democratic means, will give the necessary message and lesson to their rulers, who are pursuing adventures that will end in disaster for them," he said.

Last month, the Turkish president criticised Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for his comments on Türkiye during an official visit to the US.

Türkiye in recent months has also stepped up criticism of Greece stationing troops on islands in the eastern Aegean, near the Turkish coast and in many cases visible from shore.

These islands were required to be demilitarised under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris, so any troops or weapons on the islands are strictly forbidden.

READ MORE: Türkiye doesn't intend to wage war against Greece: President Erdogan

Source: TRTWorld and agencies