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Sweden, Finland yet to address Türkiye’s security concerns: Ankara

Finland and Sweden should take steps to address Türkiye’s security concerns, the Turkish presidential spokesperson has said. 

“It is our natural right to expect our allies and other friendly countries to take similar steps regarding Türkiye’s security concerns, just as we take the security concerns of other NATO member countries and other non-NATO friendly and allied countries seriously, and immediately act relentlessly against the threats they face,” Ibrahim Kalin told reporters at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday.

Kalin’s remarks came after a trilateral mechanism meeting between Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden to discuss developments about the implementation of the commitments made in the June 2022 trilateral memorandum at NATO Madrid Summit. 

He said Thursday’s meeting was held in a “positive” atmosphere. 

Some steps of Finland and Sweden in some areas are “satisfactory,” which Türkiye welcomes, Kalin said, adding: “Of course, the process is not finished yet. 

“We also expressed our expectation that the necessary legal, judicial, administrative and intelligence steps should be taken, especially in order to prevent terrorist financing, recruitment, propaganda of terrorism, and incitement to violence.”

Majority of Finns reportedly support joining NATO without Sweden

Trilateral agreement

Last June, Türkiye and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum at the NATO summit in Madrid to address Ankara’s legitimate security concerns, paving the way for their eventual membership in the alliance. 

The memorandum addresses Türkiye’s concerns, including arms exports and the fight against terrorism. 

Only Hungary and Türkiye have not yet ratified Sweden’s and Finland’s requests for inclusion in NATO.

According to Swedish media reports, Sweden’s new anti-terror legislation will target the financing, aiding, and propagation of terror groups. Travelling abroad to join or assist a terror group will also be penalized if the law goes into effect. 

Ankara has been demanding Stockholm take concrete actions to combat terror groups PKK and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt in Türkiye. 

Sweden then passed an anti-terror law last November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm’s bid to join NATO. Türkiye says the adopted laws were not sufficient enough, and nothing much had been done to stop the activities of the terror groups. 

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the EU and the US, and is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

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