‘Turkey waiting for Finland, Sweden to meet expectations’


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey still has concrete expectations from Sweden and Finland regarding its concerns about terrorist groups, as the two countries pledged to meet Ankara’s demands to become NATO members.

“We’re waiting for responses to our extradition requests and the two countries should not expect Turkey to make compromises,” Erdoğan told a live broadcast on TRT Monday.

He continued by saying that the two countries should not expect Turkey to support their NATO accession unless they prevent terrorists from carrying out anti-Turkey activities.

Erdoğan also said Ankara is also disturbed by the stance displayed by Germany, France, Italy and others regarding Ankara’s counterterrorism concerns. He noted that the Swedish and Finnish delegations had mentioned that other European countries have a similar stance.

Regarding Turkey’s planned cross-border operation, the president said Syria has become a nest for terrorist groups and that Russia and Iran need to decide where they stand.

‘Attack in Duhok done by PKK to damage Turkey-Iraq ties’
The president said the attack in Iraq’s Duhok was carried out by PKK terrorists and aimed to disrupt Turkey-Iraq relations.

He noted that Turkey had informed its NATO allies, including the United States, and Iraqi authorities of its position on the attack, and added that he called on Iraq not to fall for propaganda by PKK terrorists.

Turkish officials rejected claims that it carried out an attack that targeted civilians in Iraq’s Duhok province, saying that it was PKK terrorist propaganda.

The PKK’s propaganda in Iraq comes at a time when Turkey is set to launch a new operation against the terrorist group’s offshoot the YPG in northern Syria, across the Turkish border.

Last Wednesday, at least four artillery shells struck the resort area of Barakh in the Zakho district in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), killing at least eight people, officials said. More than 20 other people were wounded. All of the casualties were Iraqi citizens. A small child was among the victims.

Iraq’s military said eight people were killed in the attack. Health workers at the Bidar Hospital in Dohuk province, which received patients, said nine were killed.

The incident is testing ties between Iraq and Turkey, two countries that share deep economic ties but are divided over security issues related to PKK terrorists operating in Iraq, oil trading with the KRG region and water-sharing.

The Iraqi government, which condemned the attack as a “flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty,” convened an emergency national security meeting, summoned Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad and ordered a pause in dispatching a new Iraqi ambassador to Ankara.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi accused Turkey of ignoring “Iraq’s continuous demands to refrain from military violations against Iraqi territory and the lives of its people.”

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey had offered to bring the wounded to Turkey for treatment.

Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes into northern Iraq and has sent commandos to support its operations targeting elements of the outlawed PKK.

High-level talks with Egypt possible
Regarding Turkey-Egypt ties, Erdoğan said there is no reason for high-level talks with Cairo not to take place, as its efforts to mend ties with Cairo remain stagnant.

“Talks on the lower levels are continuing. It is not out of the question for this to happen on higher levels, so long as we understand each other,” the president said, adding that the two countries should avoid making statements “hurting” one another.

Turkey launched an initiative in 2020 to repair ties with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Erdoğan said on Monday that normalization work with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi was going well




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