Trilateral mechanism meeting between Türkiye, Finland, Sweden held in 'positive' atmosphere, Turkish presidential spokesman says


Finland and Sweden should take steps to address Türkiye's security concerns, the Turkish presidential spokesman said on Thursday.

"It is our natural right to expect our allies and other friendly countries to take similar steps regarding Türkiye's security concerns, just as we take the security concerns of other NATO member countries and other non-NATO friendly and allied countries seriously, and immediately act relentlessly against the threats they face," Ibrahim Kalin told reporters at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Kalin's remarks came after a trilateral mechanism meeting between Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden to discuss developments about the implementation of the commitments made in the June 2022 trilateral memorandum in NATO Madrid Summit.

He said the meeting was held in a "positive" atmosphere.

Some steps of Finland and Sweden in some areas are "satisfactory," which Türkiye welcomes, Kalin said, adding: "Of course, the process is not finished yet.

"We also expressed our expectation that the necessary legal, judicial, administrative, and intelligence steps should be taken, especially in order to prevent terrorist financing, recruitment, propaganda of terrorism, and incitement to violence."

Last June, Türkiye and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum at the NATO summit in Madrid to address Ankara's legitimate security concerns, paving the way for their eventual membership in the alliance.

The memorandum addresses Türkiye's concerns, including arms exports and the fight against terrorism.

Only Hungary and Türkiye have not yet ratified Sweden's and Finland's requests for inclusion in NATO.

Sweden’s new anti-terror legislation will target the financing, aiding, and propagation of terror groups. Traveling abroad to join or assist a terror group will also be penalized if the law goes into effect.

Ankara has been demanding Stockholm to take concrete actions to combat terror groups PKK and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt in Türkiye.

Sweden then passed an anti-terror law last November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm’s bid to join NATO. Türkiye says the adopted laws were not sufficient enough and nothing much had been done to stop the activities of the terror groups.

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

'Türkiye to closely follow steps'

"As you know, the Swedish government prepared a new anti-terrorism law within the framework of the constitutional amendment made last year, and today their government have officially accepted it by completing certain processes.

"Of course, we expressed that it was a satisfactory situation. Our Swedish counterparts have already expressed that with this law, they will be in a more effective position in the fight against terrorism," Kalin also said.

He added that their Swedish counterparts informed them that the bill will be presented to the parliament at a later date, but that they will not face any major problems in the parliament.

Türkiye will continue to closely follow the steps to be taken regarding the fight against terrorism and the PKK, PYD, and similar structures, he added.

"We have always stated clearly until now, we only expect the tripartite agreement signed in Madrid to be fully implemented and this is our basic expectation. As long as this happens, the NATO membership process of both countries will progress in a positive direction," Kalin said, stressing that Türkiye supports NATO's enlargement.

Previously, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave greenlight to Finland's membership before Sweden, saying: "We may respond differently to Finland if necessary."

Kalin said the speed, scope, and general framework regarding whether Sweden's and Finland's NATO processes will work together or separately depend on the steps these countries will take.

"It ispossible to consider alternatives. Of course, we will also evaluate these options within the framework of the instruction we will receive from our president in the coming days," he added.

Kalin also noted that Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden will hold another meeting, without giving specific time and location.

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