President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey still had concrete expectations of Sweden and Finland regarding its concerns over terrorist groups, as both countries pledged to respond to Ankara’s demands to become members of NATO.
“We are awaiting responses to our extradition requests and both countries should not expect Turkey to compromise,” Erdoğan said during a live broadcast on TRT on Monday.
He went on to say that the two countries should not expect Turkey to support their NATO membership unless they prevent terrorists from carrying out anti-Turkish activities.
Erdoğan also said that Ankara was also troubled by the position displayed by Germany, France, Italy and others regarding Ankara’s counter-terrorism concerns. He noted that the Swedish and Finnish delegations had mentioned that other European countries had a similar position.
Regarding Turkey’s planned cross-border operation, the president said that Syria had become a nest for terrorist groups and Russia and Iran had to decide where they stood.
“Attack in Duhok led by the PKK to harm Turkey-Iraq relations”
The president said the attack in Duhok in Iraq was carried out by PKK terrorists and aimed to disrupt relations between Turkey and Iraq.
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 had called on Iraq not to fall into the propaganda of the PKK terrorists.
Turkish officials have dismissed allegations that he carried out an attack targeting civilians in Iraq’s Duhok province, saying it was PKK terrorist propaganda.
The PKK’s propaganda in Iraq comes at a time when Turkey is preparing to launch a new operation against the offshoot of the YPG terrorist group in northern Syria, across the Turkish border.
Last Wednesday, at least four artillery shells hit the resort town of Barakh in Zakho district of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), killing at least eight people, officials said. More than 20 other people were injured. All of the victims were Iraqi citizens. A small child was among the victims.
The Iraqi army said eight people were killed in the attack. Health workers at Bidar hospital in Dohuk province, who were seeing patients, said nine people had been killed.
The incident tests 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 trade with the region KRG and water sharing.
Iraq’s government, which condemned the attack as a ‘flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty’, called an emergency national security meeting, summoned Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad and ordered a break in sending a new Iraqi ambassador to Ankara.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi accused Turkey of ignoring “Iraq’s continued requests 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 injured to Turkey for treatment.
Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes in northern Iraq and has sent commandos to support its operations targeting elements of the banned PKK.
High-level talks with Egypt are possible
Regarding Turkey-Egypt relations, Erdoğan said there was no reason for high-level talks with Cairo not to take place, as his efforts to restore ties with Cairo are stagnating.
“The talks at the lower levels are continuing. It is not excluded that it will happen at the higher levels, as long as we understand each other,” the president said, adding that the two countries should avoid making “hurtful” statements. another one.
Turkey launched an initiative in 2020 to restore ties with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Erdoğan said on Monday normalization work with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi was going well.