Turkey will not support NATO's plans to boost the protection of Poland and the Baltic nations if the alliance does not recognize as terrorists the groups Ankara views as national security threats, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
"Yesterday, I talked to the Polish president. He said that we could boost cooperation with Poland and the Baltic nations. I said that we could do that with pleasure. However, if our NATO friends do not recognize as terrorists the terrorist organizations [primarily, the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party, PYD], which are viewed so by us and which we are fighting against, we will oppose any steps taken by NATO," Erdogan told reporters in Ankara, before leaving for the NATO summit.
Erdogan added that NATO’s renewal is inevitable.
“NATO renewal is inevitable. Turkey expects the allies to seek ways to expand cooperation, rather than seek alternatives. Turkey also expects them to show solidarity on the issue of [Ankara’s] fight against terrorism," the president said.
"All NATO countries are obliged to support the reform of the alliance, this will allow a more principled and decisive fight against terrorist organisations," he added.
According to Erdogan, Turkey "is an indispensable NATO country."
Earlier, four senior NATO officials were cited by Reuters as saying that Turkey will refuse to support NATO collective defence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland against an alleged Russian threat unless Ankara itself receives adequate support from the allies in its fight against the Kurdish militia in northern Syria.
The two-day meeting between the NATO heads of state and government will start on Tuesday in the UK capital of London.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reportedly set to secure funding from Germany, France and the United Kingdom to help Ankara carry out its Syrian policy, including the return of Syrian refugees home.