Kurtulmus: “We will not allow Sweden to join NATO”
Arti Gercek reports that after Rasmus Paladan, the leader of the Hard Line Party (Stram Kurs) in Denmark, burned the Quran in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, relations between Ankara and Stockholm became tense once again. AKP Deputy Chairman Numan Kurtulmus said, "By no means will Turkey allow these countries affiliated with terrorists to join NATO, nor will it pave the way for this."
Kurtulmus, who participated in a program organized by the Union of Chambers of Tradesmen and Craftsmen, said: "What we have seen in Sweden is extremely upsetting. Insulting the sacred values of any religion anywhere in the world is not within the scope of democratic freedom of expression and neither should it be. Burning the Holy Quran, this fire will engulf all of Europe, will engulf the whole world." He continued, adding: "We advise them to come to their senses. This cannot be seen as just an act of an ordinary, fascist, unfortunately delusional politician."
Kurtulmus said, "These men are xenophobic, anti-Islamic, anti-Turkey... They know that Turkey has come to such a point, that it is the leader of the Islamic world of 2 billion people and is the spokesperson and leader of billions of oppressed peoples in the world. This is obviously the main political motivation behind these demonstrations. It is seen as part of an ongoing anti-Turkey campaign. I want to express that we will not tolerate this in any way.”
THE GOAL IS NOT TO GAIN POLITICAL GROUND
Connecting the issue to the ongoing negotiations for Sweden and Finland's NATO membership, Kurtulmus continued:
"On the one hand, you knock on Turkey's door to join NATO, on the other, you assure Turkey that with a trilateral agreement with Turkey, ‘yes, we will prevent terrorism from now on.’ After that, you make all kinds of openings for these terrorist organizations and for the insults towards the President of Turkey. Then you continue your dreams of joining NATO. I'm sorry, Turkey is a country of its word. Turkey does not have empty words nor does it bluff. The words we say are never words made to gain political ground. By no means will Turkey allow these countries affiliated with terrorists to join NATO, nor will it pave the way for this."
AKAR: TURKEY IS NOT OPPOSED TO ACCESSION IF ITS REQUESTS ARE GRANTED
On the other hand, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar’s statement that “Turkey will always support NATO’s open-door policy” drew attention. Stating that Turkey is not an enemy of Sweden and Finland, and that it does not oppose the two countries bid for NATO membership, Akar said:
"Just as they want to cooperate with NATO to defend their own country, we want cooperation and support with us in the fight against terrorism. They want our support for the defense and security of their country, yet they reject our demands for the fight against terrorism. It would be unacceptable to ignore the shameful, disgusting, and dishonorable attempts against Turkey, our President, our flag, the Holy Quran, and our sacred values, and to remain silent or unvigilant on this issue. If things continue in this manner, our stance and attitude is rather obvious, precise, and certain. We expect Sweden and Finland to show the power and strength of the state in fulfilling their commitments as soon as possible and to put an end to these disgusting and despicable attempts. If these are done, we have no problem." (DHA)