Türkİye, Politics

Türkiye engages in public diplomacy effort on objections to Sweden, Finland's NATO bids

Türkiye to hold panels in Europe later this month to voice Ankara's justified stance against countries' support for terror groups

Mehmet Tosun   | 13.06.2022
Türkiye engages in public diplomacy effort on objections to Sweden, Finland's NATO bids


As Türkiye maintains its objections against Sweden and Finland's bid to join NATO, it has pursued an intense public diplomacy effort at home and abroad to make its position better-known on the matter.

After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last month that the country does not currently have "a positive position" on the issue of Sweden and Finland joining NATO, Türkiye's Communications Directorate launched a campaign reflecting Ankara's stance against the support that these nations provide to terrorist organizations.

As part of this campaign, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun publicly defended this stance in interviews with the most prominent newspapers of Sweden and Finland, urging the two countries to change course on their approach toward the issue of terrorism.

Altun said that if Türkiye's legitimate concerns are not addressed, it could not allow these two countries to join NATO.

Russia's war on Ukraine prompted Finland and Sweden to formally apply to join NATO on May 18.

But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to their membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups such as the PKK/YPG, as well as for weapons embargos against Türkiye.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the EU, and the US, is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the terrorist group PKK's Syrian branch.

Future of NATO to be discussed at panels

Also part of this effort, the Communications Directorate is preparing to hold a panel in Brussels later this week to discuss "the future of NATO after the war in Ukraine."

The panel, scheduled for Friday, will serve as another opportunity for Türkiye to raise awareness of the reasons behind its objections using public diplomacy.

The Directorate will hold another panel in Madrid on June 28 with the same intention ahead of a NATO Summit in Spain that President Erdogan is to attend on June 28-30.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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