Hurriyet Daily News
May 29, 2022

Countries backing terror groups won’t be in NATO: Erdoğan

Turkey won’t approve of the joining of the countries that are supporting terrorist organizations to NATO, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, informing that Ankara’s first talks with the NATO-aspirant Swedish and Finnish delegations were unsatisfactory.

“The talks our delegation has conducted with the Swedish and Finnish delegations were unfortunately not at the level we were expecting. They have expectations [from Turkey] but as they don’t take necessary steps, they are still allowing the terrorists to freely walk in the streets of Stockholm…,” Erdoğan told the reporters on his return from Azerbaijan over the weekend.

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“As long as Erdoğan rules Turkey, we won’t say yes to the entry of countries that support terror in NATO.”

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“They are not honest or sincere. We cannot repeat the same mistake we did in the past towards these countries that shelter and feed these terrorists. What was that mistake? In the past, Greece had quit NATO and a Turkish government then allowed Greece to return,” he said, referring to a decision taken by Turkey in 1980.

Greece now has nine military bases, and they are against Turkey and not against Russia as some Greek officials claim, Erdoğan stated, repeating his criticisms against Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for calling on the United States Congress not to approve the sale of F-16s to Turkey.

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Turkey won’t seek US consent for Syria operation

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On a question about the contacts with Washington on the potential Turkish operation, Erdoğan urged the U.S. to do its part in the fight against terrorism. “If America does not fulfill its duty in the fight against terrorism, what will we do? We’ll take care of it ourselves. It is not possible to fight against terrorism by obtaining permission from somewhere,” he stressed.

Israel positive for energy cooperation with Turkey

Erdoğan also responded to a question about whether Israel gives the green light for constructing a pipeline to carry the natural gas of the eastern Mediterranean to the world markets via Turkey.

According to the information provided by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu from Israel where he had talks with the Israeli government, Tel Aviv has expressed its willingness to cooperate with Turkey on natural gas.

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