Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun warns that if a NATO member is indifferent towards the safety of others, it poses a clear risk to the identity of the alliance.

Altun says Türkiye sees NATO as a guarantor of peace and stability.
Altun says Türkiye sees NATO as a guarantor of peace and stability. (AA Archive)

Sweden's NATO membership will not be possible unless Türkiye's legitimate concerns are addressed, Türkiye's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has said.

In a guest op-ed for Swedish daily Expressen on Wednesday, Altun stressed the importance of taking a clear stand against terror groups before joining the alliance.

He said NATO countries must coordinate with alliance members on the issue of terrorism, which in recent years has seriously threatened the international system and the national security of states.

Altun warned that if one of the members of the organisation is indifferent towards the safety of others, it poses a clear risk to the identity of NATO.

Altun said Türkiye has given full support to NATO's expansion since the end of the Cold War era.

He said Türkiye has one of the most powerful armies across the world and sees NATO as a guarantor of peace and stability. 

READ MORE: Türkiye urges NATO to respect its concerns over Finland, Sweden bids

After the criticism that NATO has suffered for not providing enough cooperation and coordination in the fight against terrorism in the last 20 years, it is unthinkable to (positively) approach the membership of countries that have not taken a sufficiently determined position regarding terrorist organisations.

Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun

Türkiye's concerns

Altun said Türkiye has faced attacks by various terror groups for nearly 40 years and among them is the PKK, an "umbrella" for many terror groups.

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. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

Altun said the PKK was found last August to have used Swedish-made AT-4 anti-tank missiles to attack Türkiye's anti-terror forces.

He also cited the terror group's recruitment, financing and propaganda activities on Swedish soil, raising the question as to how reliable Sweden is as an ally to Türkiye.

A recent PKK terrorist-linked meeting hosted in Stockholm has "unfortunately" deepened the Turkish nation’s distrust, he added.

"Sweden's efforts to become a part of NATO without changing its stance on this issue are unacceptable not only for Türkiye but also for other countries that are the target of terrorism," Altun said.

Ankara's allies must take a stand against those who portray themselves as political refugees to the Swedish society but who have been involved in crimes and ruined the lives of innocent people in Türkiye, he said.

READ MORE: Finland and Sweden submit NATO membership applications

Source: AA