Turkey publishes demands for backing Sweden's Nato membership

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Turkey publishes demands for backing Sweden's Nato membership
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inspects a military honour guard during a ceremony marking the docking of a submarine, in Kocaeli, Turkey, Monday, May 23, 2022. Photo: Turkish Presidency/AP

Turkey’s government has demanded "concrete assurances" that Sweden will stop backing groups it regards as terrorist, as it lays out its price for backing Swedish Nato membership.


"Sweden, which has applied for membership, is expected to take principled steps and provide concrete assurances regarding Turkey's security concerns," the Turkish government wrote in a statement, published in English on its website. "Under the collective security principle of Nato, Turkey expects concrete assurances from Sweden, which supports terrorist organisations." 

The statement refers to the "PKK/PYD", conflating the PYD, the party which runs the Kurdish region in northern Syria, with the PKK, which is designated a terrorist organisation by Sweden, as well as by the EU and the US.

It also highlights the $367m Sweden has promised in support of the PYD, accuses Sweden of supplying military equipment, particularly anti-tanks and drones, to Kurdish forces in northern Syria, and criticises the arms embargo Sweden imposed on Turkey in 2019. 

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"Turkey expects support from all Nato member states in its legitimate rights based on international law and in its fight against terrorism for decades," the statement reads. "The embargo practices are against the spirit of the alliance."

Finally, the statement reiterates a call made in 2017 for Sweden to extradite “terrorists” linked to PKK/PYD and FETO (Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation), the Turkish government’s designation for the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government's directorate of communications published a version of the demands on social media, laid out as five bullet points, and translated into eleven languages, including Russian. 


The Turkish government posted a five-point statement of its stance on Nato membership in eleven languages on social media. Photo: Turkish government



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