Turkey got what it wanted from Sweden and Finland at the NATO summit, according to the German press. It remains open whether he won concessions from the US.
There is no doubt that Turkey has prevailed with its demands in the dispute over the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO, comments the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) at the summit of the alliance in Madrid. The Scandinavians not only assure that they will take decisive action against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its supporters. They also promise not to support the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria and the movement led by Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, which Ankara blames for the failed July 2016 coup.
However, as much as Turkey is bothered by the support of these movements in the Nordic countries, the issue is ultimately of limited importance to Ankara, the daily notes. In fact, Erdogan’s veto was probably intended to blackmail the United States into concessions on two much more important issues, NZZ comments. It is the delivery of new F-16 fighter jets that has been sought for months and the green light for a new offensive against the Kurds in northern Syria, which Ankara has been preparing for weeks. On Wednesday, Erdogan had at least one conversation with President Biden. It will be seen in the coming weeks if Biden responds to the wishes of the Turkish president. If this does not happen, Turkey’s triumph could even prove to be a Pyrrhic victory, the Zurich newspaper estimates.
Margins for interpretations
The surprise for the sudden solution of the issue of Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO was great in Madrid, comments the German magazine Der Spiegel. Earlier in the week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the prospect of a quick deal. The chances of success in the talks between the Turkish president, the president of Finland Sauli Niinistro and the prime minister of Sweden Magdalena Anderson were considered slim.
The relief on Tuesday afternoon was even greater when the news of a solution to the dispute spread. Congratulations came from, among others, US President Joe Biden, Chancellor Olaf Soltz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. However, there is criticism, because the agreement with Erdogan has its price, the magazine writes.
At first glance, the memorandum between the three countries seems to have been dominated mainly by the Turkish President, who asked for concessions from the Northern Europeans. Its major points of criticism – the restriction of arms exports to Turkey and the suppression of the “terrorist” PKK and its affiliated organizations – are fully taken into account. In reality, however, the wording of the memorandum leaves room for interpretation, says Der Spiegel.
On the contrary, the Berlin daily Tageszeitung (TAZ) estimates that the text of the tripartite memorandum between Turkey, Sweden and Finland is “as if it was written by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoλουlu himself”. One of NATO’s “key elements” is “unwavering solidarity and co-operation” in the fight against terrorism, the text said. Finland and Sweden should provide Turkey with “full support to prevent threats to its national security”. The terms “terrorism” and “threat” are used here to describe the activities of Kurdish groups – such as the PKK or YPG militias – but not those of Turkish nationalists or Islamists, taz comments.
Turkey’s extradition requests will henceforth be dealt with “quickly and thoroughly” and there will be relevant “bilateral agreements”. As soon as the memorandum was signed, Ankara submitted its first request on Wednesday morning: 33 “terrorist” supporters of the PKK and Gulen must be handed over to the Turkish authorities.
To curb Putin’s bigotry, European and North American democracies are now handing over Kurds to Turkey, taz comments – at least symbolically. This for the Berlin newspaper is a sign that values are ultimately optional.
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle