NATO members should work in harmony to combat terrorism, Turkiye says

NATO members should work in harmony to combat terrorism, Turkiye's communications director said, reports citing Daily Sabah.

Turkey wants to see concrete and permanent steps taken to prevent activities of terrorist groups that threaten its statehood and citizens, Fahrettin Altun said in an interview with the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat.

On the NATO bids of Finland and Sweden, he said: "It is our most fundamental right to expect the countries that we would pledge to assist in times of war not to support or tolerate organizations targeting our nationals."

Turkish people no longer value words, but deeds, he said.

"For instance, we obtained a written assurance on Cyprus from Finland, the European Union's term president at the 1999 Helsinki European Council. And then, EU authorities stated that if Greek Cypriots did not agree to the Annan Peace Plan (in 2004), they could not become an EU member. However, all this was forgotten. The current situation is evident," Altun exampled.

NATO membership is a privilege, not a right, he said, adding: "The current problem is not because Turkey does not comprehend Finland, but rather because Finland does not take Turkey's security concerns seriously."

He also addressed the tolerated presence and operations of the PKK terrorist group and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in Finland, saying the Baltic country should decide whether protecting terrorist groups is more important than NATO membership.


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