Clear message from Erdogan for Sweden: First EU, then NATO
By News Centre
President Erdogan revealed his determination before the NATO Summit: I am calling out to the countries that have kept Turkiye waiting at the EU gate for more than 50 years; First, let them pave the way for Turkiye in the European Union, and we will pave the way for Sweden, just as we paved the way for Finland.
Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdoğan said in a statement at Atatürk Airport before leaving for Vilnius to attend the summit.
“The progress of Sweden's membership process to NATO depends on the fulfillment of the issues recorded in the tripartite agreement. We are almost speechless for saying that terrorist organizations and their extensions should be dealt with indiscriminately,” the President said.
President Erdogan went to Vilnius to attend the Summit of Heads of State and Government. Holding a press conference at Atatürk Airport before his departure to Lithuania, he emphasized that one of the agenda items at the summit was the enlargement of NATO and that Turkiye has always supported NATO's open-door policy.
Finland did what was needed
Noting that Turkiye expressed their support for this policy at every opportunity, while North Macedonia was kept waiting at the door for 16 years only because of the name issue, the Turkish President said: “A road map was drawn up with the tripartite agreement signed in Madrid last year for Sweden and Finland's applications for NATO membership. Acting in accordance with its commitments, Finland officially became a member of the alliance in April.”
We are tired to reiterate
“As for Sweden, the process continues. The contacts of our relevant institutions with their Swedish counterparts go on with a transparent and well-intentioned approach. The progress of Sweden's membership process to NATO depends on the fulfillment of the issues recorded in the tripartite agreement. We are almost speechless when we say that as Turkiye, we need to fight terrorist organizations and their extensions indiscriminately.”
We are taking a critical role
Stating that Turkiye has done its part as one of the top five allies that contributed most to NATO missions and operations, Erdogan emphasized that Turkiye provided serious strength and capabilities to the alliance by making use of advanced technologies on land, at sea and in the air. Expressing that NATO's fight against terrorism continues in the southern border regions and beyond, which also borders NATO, Erdogan said, "We play critical roles on a global scale in the prevention and management of mass irregular migration movements."
Turkiye has been waiting for 50 years
Pointing out that he wanted to underline a fact on the occasion of his visit to Lithuania, Erdoğan said: “Turkiye that has been waiting at the door of the European Union for more than 50 years, and almost all of the NATO member countries are now members of the European Union. I am calling out to these countries that have kept Turkiye waiting at the gates of the European Union for more than 50 years, but I will also call out in Vilnius; First, let's pave the way for Turkiye in the European Union, then let's pave the way for Sweden, just as we paved the way for Finland.”
We are not a CATLADIKAPI (a country with undefined borders) door country
Noting that he used these expressions to US President Joe Biden the previous evening, Erdogan said, “I have to make this statement in Vilnius as well. Because I also believe that my people have expectations from us. It is over 50 years. We are Turkiye. We are not a Catladikapi country. This needs to be known. I will express these while making these contacts with the heads of state and government in the meetings I will hold at the margin of the summit.”
President Erdogan started his contacts in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, where he came to attend the NATO Heads of State and Government Summit, with a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. Erdogan had a trilateral meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson at the LIETXPO Exhibition and Convention Center. Sweden, which did not keep its previous promises during the meeting, made new promises to Turkiye.
First Explanation Comes From Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg made the first statement about the meeting.
Answering journalists' questions, Stoltenberg said, "I am pleased to announce that President Erdogan has agreed to forward Sweden's accession protocol to the Parliament as soon as possible and to work closely with the Parliament for approval."
Stoltenberg listed the Swedish promises at the summit as follows:
A dual mechanism will be established
* It was agreed to work towards eliminating sanctions and removing obstacles in defense trade and investments among the Allies.
* Sweden will actively support Turkiye's EU membership process, including updating the Customs Union and visa liberalization.
* It will not support Sweden's terrorist organization YPG/PYD and FETO.
* For the first time in NATO's history, a Special Counter-Terrorism Coordinator will be appointed.
* A bilateral security mechanism will be established between Turkiye and Sweden.
Biden: I Am Ready to Work With Turkiye
US President Joe Biden made a written statement after the agreement between Turkiye and Sweden.
"I welcome the statement that includes Turkiye's submission of Sweden's NATO accession protocols to Parliament. I am ready to work with President Erdogan and Turkiye to improve defense and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic region. I look forward to seeing Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson and Sweden as the 32nd member of NATO. I thank Stoltenberg for his determined leadership,” Biden said.
The final decision belongs to the TGNA
“How will you behave towards Sweden's NATO membership?” Upon the question, Erdogan stated that the final decision in this matter belongs to the Grand National Assembly of Turkiye. Expressing that it is not possible to take any steps here after the Grand National Assembly of Turkiye does not make this decision, Erdogan said, “Look, what are they all bringing about the F-16s? They say, 'It has to pass the Congress.' If they have a Congress, we have a Parliament. We can't say, 'I said it, it's done' after it has not been passed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly," he said.
Biden mobilizes all opportunities
When asked how US President Joe Biden evaluates the opposition of some senators to the sale of the F-16 in Congress, Erdogan said that Biden said, "I am mobilizing all the means I can."
President Erdoğan added: “He wants the same from us. Of course, we told him that our case is very different from yours. As two NATO allies, we will strengthen ourselves against all NATO enemies with the steps we will take here. We have made payments to you. There is the payment we made in the F-35. 1 billion 450 million dollars. We have not yet received the return of this payment. Of course, now we will have a narrow meeting in Vilnius. We will discuss these issues with him in these narrow meetings, and with this meeting, I hope that we will overcome this problem. It also saddens us that this is associated with Sweden.”
Asked whether he will have any contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the near future for the extension of the Grain Corridor Agreement, which will expire on July 17, President Erdoğan said that they expect a visit from Putin next month.
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