Turkey’s position regarding the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO is a “negotiable” position. This was stated in an interview with Adnkronos by the former Italian ambassador to Ankara, Carlo Marsili, after the statements by Recep Tayyip Erdogan against the possible accession of the two Scandinavian countries to the Atlantic Alliance. “I am not surprised by this position taken by Erdogan”, the ambassador said, recalling how “for many years” the Turkish administration has been “very critical” especially towards Sweden for having given asylum to several members of the PKK and more recently to the Syrian wing of the organization. “This controversy dates back to the time of Olof Palme (the former Swedish prime minister in the seventies)”, continues Marsili, according to whom Erdogan, since NATO recognizes the PKK as a terrorist organization, does not want Sweden to enter ” painlessly. “It is a way to negotiate and gain an advantage on other tables as well, explains Marsili, but not only. In the chambers of the Ankara government, argues the ambassador, he always takes the issue of relations to be safeguarded with Moscow and “Erdogan does not consider it appropriate for Sweden and Finland to enter at this moment for a position of respect towards Russia. He warns that the Russia would react badly and take this position “also to reaffirm the” neutrality “that it has tried to assume” especially in the last period of the conflict “. There is still no question of a Turkish veto, Marsili points out, since the request for membership of Helsinki and Stockholm is not yet official.According to Marsili, Ankara could negotiate with Sweden, in whose Parliament there are members of Kurdish origin, on the fact that may he at least partially revise his position so well-disposed towards not only the PKK, but also the Gulenists and a whole series of characters that Turkey considers terrorists. It is difficult for Sweden to change course, but there will be negotiations. Turkey, thanks to the right of veto, currently has a position of strength that does not make it sympathetic to others, favorable to the entry of the two countries – he says – But the Turkish reserves will weigh in some way “. And even if the role as a negotiator for Turkey in the Ukrainian conflict is “more difficult” and Ankara is “struggling”, Marsili argues that in any case “Erdogan wants to keep the point because he has a very strong interest and wants to have concessions from ‘American administration “given that President Biden now seems inclined to sell the F16s to Turkey” and this – concludes Marsili – is another part of the negotiation “.
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