NATO, Turkish, Swedish and Finnish flags , May 18, 2022 (Photo: Reuters)
The reports of Finland and Sweden agreeing to several conditions laid down by Turkey to get its strongman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to withdraw his objections to their joining the European Union have again raised the issue of “human rights” being used as convenient issues by western nations, feel official sources following the developments.
The likely details of a settlement put out by the Middle East news agencies include Sweden and Finland lifting their arms embargo on Turkey and backing its position on PKK which Ankara describes as a terrorist organisation. They have also agreed to cooperate on “terrorism” and send back suspects who are located in the Nordic nations.
The joint declaration signed under the auspices of the NATO makes it clear that Sweden and Finland will in no way offer any support to FETO which is the Gulenist group opposed to Erdogan and Turkey. Finland has declared that it has tightened laws relating to terrorism and incitement and this will lower the tolerance for terrorism related offenses. Sweden has made similar averments as well.
The three nations have agreed to establish a joint structured dialogue on law enforcement and terrorism, even while the Nordic nations and the West have been critical of Erdogan’s record. Recently, Turkey removed parliamentary immunity to Kurdish members of Parliament rendering them vulnerable to coercive action.
In return to this series of concessions, Erdogan has agreed to support entry of Finland and Sweden to the NATO. It remains a matter of surprise, said officials, that security interests of the EU can easily consume concerns over human rights as these issues are regularly raised selectively in seeking other nations to support the western position on Russia and Ukraine.