Erdogan wants “documents, not statements” from the NATO applicant

Sanctions imposed by Sweden against cannot be ignored, says the Turkish president

Ankara can not “Lay aside” sanctions that Stockholm imposed on Turkey when we discussed Sweden’s attempt to join NATO, said President Recep Erdogan on Monday.

“Turkey’s important role in NATO and other international organizations is clear. Nevertheless, we are still discussing the lifting of sanctions imposed on us by some of our allies, especially Sweden.” said the Turkish leader during a trial against his country’s new attack submarine.

“We want to see concrete steps rather than open diplomatic statements about our national ,” he added, apparently with reference to statements by NATO Secretary General Jens , who on many occasions has acknowledged that the security problems of all Allies must be addressed.

Turkey has said it will not agree to requests from and Sweden to join the US-led bloc. The two Nordic nations formally applied for membership last week. Ankara cited the ’ record of hosting “terrorists” and their restrictions on trade with Turkey as stumbling blocks. NATO rules require the unanimous support of current members for the expansion of the organization.

Turkey’s complaint concerns Sweden’s and Finland’s policy of granting political asylum to people whom Ankara perceives as dangerous militants, mainly ethnic suspected of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – a militia group that waged a decades-long guerrilla war against the Turkish .

There is also a ban on arms trade with Turkey, which some European nations, including Sweden, introduced in 2019 in response to its military invasion of .

Erdogan spoke at the Golcuk Naval Shipyard Command in northwestern Kocaeli province. He and other senior members of the Turkish leadership, including the highest military brass, attended the docking ceremony for the first Reis-class attack submarine manufactured by the Turkish Navy shipyard.

It was launched earlier this year and is currently being tested. Turkey intends to have six of the domestically built boats of the class deployed by 2027, Erdogan said.

The Turkish president stressed how successive governments formed by his party had made great efforts to reduce the country’s dependence on imports to arm itself. The share of foreign-dependent weapons systems fell from 80% to 30% as a result of this policy, Erdogan said.


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