MADRID, Dec. 9 (.) –
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has accused Europe this Friday of supporting both “secretly and openly” the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), declared a terrorist organization by Ankara, in a new reference to the diplomatic crisis. with Sweden and Finland, whose NATO aspirations are threatened by the Turkish veto for hosting individuals associated with NATO and the like.
“It is clear that it will be difficult for us to build a common future with a Europe that secretly and openly supports the terrorist groups against which Turkey is fighting,” the president declared this Friday at the TRT World Forum that is being held in Istanbul, the scene on November 13 of an attack that cost the lives of six people, for which the Turkish authorities have blamed the PKK, which in turn has denied any involvement.
This attack triggered a new Turkish military campaign in Syria Iraq, the ‘Sword Claw’ operation, the last of a long bombing war against Kurdish positions in both countries.
“We are a country that preferred to walk with Europe after the Second World War but, despite all the sacrifices we have made, we will never forget that we have been left alone in our fight against the terrorist groups that threaten our unity”, the president has lamented in comments collected by the ‘Daily Sabah’.
“That,” Erdogan added, “without mentioning the implicit embargoes that have been imposed on us,” in another veiled reference to Sweden’s and Finland’s refusal to trade arms with Turkey, and before accusing the United States of supplying weapons to Kurdish militias. which Turkey is fighting, and which Washington considers instead as an essential ally in the fight against what remains of the jihadist organization Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
These remarks come a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday expressed his belief that Finland and Sweden will soon be welcomed as NATO members despite misgivings expressed by Turkey, and that even ministers from both countries have shown themselves to be receptive to an opening of the arms trade with Ankara, in addition to having begun the process of extradition of individuals associated with the PKK.
“I am convinced that Finland and Sweden will soon be formally received as (NATO) members. Since the NATO summit in Madrid, both countries have taken important concrete steps to meet their commitments, including those related to security concerns. of our ally Turkey,” Blinken said during a three-way meeting in Washington with his Swedish counterparts, Tobias Billstrom, and Finn, Pekka Haavisto, reported by Swedish public television SVT.
Billstrom, for his part, has thanked Blinken for the United States’ commitment to European security, its financial support for Ukraine and its support for the applications from Finland and Sweden. “Our NATO accession processes are progressing well. We are eager to join and contribute to the alliance,” the minister said.
On the other hand, Finland is considering granting export permits for certain weapons to Turkey, Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen also declared Thursday during talks on the Nordic country’s NATO candidacy in Ankara.
Finland may process some export applications “in the near future,” Kaikkonen was quoted as saying by Finnish radio station YLE. However, the weapons would not be handed over without careful checks, the minister added, following in Sweden’s footsteps in this regard.
Sweden, it should also be remembered, extradited last weekend Mahmut Tat, a member of the Union of Kurdish Communities, the “umbrella” group that brings together the PKK, among others, sentenced to six years and ten months in prison, reports the official agency of Turkish news Anatolia, after being denied political asylum.