Ankara has a chance to use the situation to achieve its goals, says Naim Baburoglu
But NATO member Turkey has warned that it will oppose their bid and accuses Finland and Sweden of supporting the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been banned by Ankara.
Thanks to its veto power, Turkey has a strategic card, and it must be used to ensure that not only Helsinki and Stockholm, but all NATO members, designate the PKK as a terrorist organization, Baburoglu told Sozcu newspaper on Sunday.
The fact that Finland and Sweden condemn the PKK and hand over Kurdish suspects, and that the US approves the sale of the F-16 to Turkey, which was among the demands recently made by Ankara, should not be enough for the Turkish government to change its position, he suggested.
“Even if it takes 20 years, Turkey must exercise its veto on the issue of Sweden and Finland.” claimed the retired general, who once worked at NATO headquarters near the Belgian city of Mons.
According to Baburoglu, it is in Washington’s power to resolve the deadlock over Helsinki and Stockholm’s membership offerings.
“Who is most interested in Sweden and Finland joining NATO? It is the United States because they want to surround Russia from the northern Baltics. Therefore … Turkey should discuss this issue with the United States in the first place.” he said.