Türkiye's communications director said on Wednesday that it would not be correct to present the trilateral memorandum signed with Sweden and Finland as a NATO membership agreement as Ankara will continue to monitor whether the two Nordic countries comply with the deal.
Referring to the commitments regarding full cooperation with Türkiye in fighting terrorism, lifting the defense industry embargo and restrictions, and expanding cooperation, Fahrettin Altun told the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat: "Now, the responsibility of these two countries is to keep their promises."
Türkiye has already shared the necessary information with the authorities in Sweden and Finland on the extradition of terrorists, he recalled, noting that this will also be for their security.
Türkiye supports NATO's enlargement policy, said Altun, adding that countries that want be NATO members must clearly express that they share the alliance values.
"Of course, our most important expectation (from the two Nordic countries) was to prevent the propaganda, recruitment, and financing activities of the PKK, its Syrian extension YPG, and FETO, which attempted a coup in Türkiye and killed 251 innocent people," he stressed.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK-listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, UK, and EU-has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
Ankara also clearly said the two countries cannot impose an arms embargo on Türkiye, NATO's second-largest country, he added.
For more than 70 years as a key NATO ally, Türkiye participated in alliance missions worldwide while protecting its southern flank.
"As a result, we thought that Finland and Sweden fully understand how serious and determined we are in the fight against terrorism, as a memorandum has been signed," Altun said.
In response to a question on whether Türkiye retreated any of its demands from Sweden and Finland during talks in Madrid, he said "no," stressing that the country has made totally legitimate demands.
"In case these demands are not met, any progress in the membership requests of Finland and Sweden could directly endanger NATO. So, it was out of the question for us to make any concessions," Altun noted.
Representatives from NATO's 30 member states signed accession protocols for Finland and Sweden, after formally inviting them to the military alliance at the historic summit in Madrid last week.
Canada has become the first country to ratify Sweden and Finland's NATO membership bids, the country's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday.
The two countries shunned neutrality and applied to join NATO in May, a decision spurred on by Russia's war on Ukraine.
But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, voiced objections to their membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.
Ahead of the summit, Ankara and the two Scandinavian countries signed the memorandum after four-way talks, including NATO in Madrid.
The agreement allows the two Nordic countries to become NATO members but conditioned them to take steps on Türkiye's terrorism concerns and lift an arms embargo on Ankara.
Following the trilateral deal, NATO formally invited Sweden and Finland to join the 30-member military alliance.