Attacks against Erdoğan equal attacks against Turkey, says Erdoğan

The real target is Turkey for all those who put down Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) or its chairman President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself, the president said, speaking at the closing ceremony of AKP’s 30th consultation and evaluation meeting.

“Whoever is attacking this brother of yours in this world is in truth attacking Turkey itself,” Erdoğan said.

There is a group of people who tell all sorts of lies about Erdoğan and his AKP, and another that is “ready to believe all lies told about my person, the AKP and our cadres”, the president said.

“Those who are perturbed by our goal of a big and strong Turkey targeting us and our government directly cannot stomach the level our country has reached,” Erdoğan said, adding that the AKP would “pursue our politics upholding our dignified stance in Syria to Iraq, Black Sea to the Mediterranean”.

Erdoğan also said Turkey would not change its stance regarding Sweden and Finland’s bid for NATO membership.

“Those who advise us to be flexible regarding the NATO expansion have never questioned their relationship with terrorist organisations, which proves how right our determined stance is. Without the expectations that we have declared to our interlocutors being met, we will not change our stance,” he said.

Sweden and Finland have appealed to join NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey demands the two Nordic countries extradite persons wanted by Ankara, shift to a stricter regime against terrorism, lift arms embargos imposed on the country, and to designate as terrorist Syrian Kurdish groups that they have supported in the past.

The war in Ukraine has created a panic in Europe regarding refugees, while Turkey has managed irregular migration into the country successfully for 11 years, Erdoğan said.

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