"Extraditing terrorists to Türkiye and preventing terrorist organisations from operating on Swedish soil are our sine qua non", said the country's communications director.

Altun stressed that if Ankara's concerns are not addressed, there would be no way to
Altun stressed that if Ankara's concerns are not addressed, there would be no way to "convince" the country to accept the two Nordic nations' NATO accession. (AA Archive)

The issue of terrorism is non-negotiable for Türkiye, the country's communications director has stressed as Sweden's bid to join NATO continues.

"Sweden needs to make a concrete and permanent policy change on terrorism," Fahrettin Altun wrote on Sunday in an article in the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.

"Extraditing terrorists to Türkiye and preventing terrorist organisations from operating on Swedish soil are our sine qua non," he added.

Altun stressed that if Ankara's concerns are not addressed, there would be no way to "convince" the country to accept the two Nordic nations' NATO accession, adding: "Türkiye is not the old Türkiye."

"Now, there is a Türkiye that protects its interests at all costs and demands eye-level relations with every interlocutor on every platform. Everyone should get used to this fact," he asserted.

In late May, Türkiye hosted consultations with Swedish and Finnish delegations in Ankara on their NATO applications. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the meetings had not been "at the desired level".

READ MORE: Türkiye to NATO chief: Our security concerns based on legitimate grounds

'A safe haven for terrorists'

According to Altun, protecting terrorist organisations under the guise of "freedom of expression" and "political asylum" casts a shadow over Sweden's sincerity.

"Under current circumstances, it is not possible for us to explain to the Turkish people how and why we will be in a military alliance with a country that provides a safe haven to the PKK, which was involved in the assassination of Olof Palme (former Prime Minister of Sweden) and carried out suicide attacks in Türkiye, or FETO (Fetullah Terrorist Organisation), which attempted a coup and killed 251 innocent people," he wrote.

Sweden, along with Finland, formally applied to join NATO on May 18, a decision spurred by Russia's offensive in Ukraine, which began on February 24.

But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to their membership bids, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terror groups such as the PKK and FETO. The accession requires unanimous approval of all 30 NATO member states.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US, and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Türkiye, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

READ MORE: How Europe became a safe haven for the PKK

Source: AA