Security concerns of NATO members should be addressed in a 'just manner,' says Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin.
Türkiye has made clear to Sweden and Finland that their NATO bid cannot progress unless Ankara's security concerns are met through concrete steps and a certain timeframe, the presidential spokesperson has said.
Noting that PKK, YPG, and PYD are all same terror groups, Türkiye conveyed its expectations on this matter to the delegations from Sweden and Finland during the meeting, Ibrahim Kalin told a news conference following the closed-door consultative meeting that lasted nearly five hours on Wednesday.
"In the reports prepared on the PYD/YPG, we explained that the organisation committed war crimes," Kalin said, noting that YPG and PYD are offshoots of PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US, and EU.
"We stated that if Türkiye's security concerns are not met with concrete steps, the process will not progress," Kalin said, stressing that the security concerns of NATO members should be addressed in a "just manner".
Türkiye expects the "correct implementation" of the 1999 NATO summit principles and procedures related to the alliance membership process, Kalin added.
“We have been saying that separating the PYD and YPG from the PKK terror group, which was first done by the Obama administration, is wrong", Kalin said.
Türkiye's Presidential Spokesperson Kalin underlines that Ankara has been making extradition requests of terrorists to Sweden and Finland for the last 10 years and says security concerns of NATO members should be addressed in a "just manner". Our colleague has more pic.twitter.com/OfYNJ3hOdV— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) May 25, 2022
'A positive approach'
Kalin went on to say that NATO membership application by Sweden and Finland coincides with an important "turning point."
"NATO is a security alliance, the countries that will become members should address the member states' security concerns," Kalin said, emphasising that Türkiye has been a crucial figure in NATO history. "The most fundamental issue of this alliance is to meet the security concerns of its members equally and justly," Kalin added.
"Türkiye's security concerns are related to the presence of terrorist organisations, especially in European countries."
"Our expectations are that concrete steps should be taken towards the organisational and financial propaganda of the terrorist organisations there," he noted.
He also emphasised that Türkiye observed a "positive approach" by Finland and Sweden in discussions about lifting the sanctions on arms and defence industry products that the two countries had imposed on Türkiye.
"It is unacceptable that NATO allies impose sanctions on each other," Kalin said.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last week, 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 Baltic states for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.
The PKK, which is listed as a terror organisation by Türkiye, the US, and EU, has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people. The YPG is PKK’s Syrian offshoot.