[…] Judy Woodruff: You have blocked the admission to NATO of both Sweden and Finland and raised the issue of people you refer to as Kurdish terrorists.
Are you close to resolving this? I know that they have asked Turkey to provide evidence that these people you want them to deal with are terrorists. But are you — first of all, are you close to an agreement? And if they don’t accept whatever Turkey explains, are you prepared to just permanently block Sweden and Finland from joining?
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (through translator): Here especially, Sweden has been a cradle for terrorism. And the terrorists have infiltrated all the way into their parliaments.
And, in Stockholm, we see terrorists are demonstrating all the time. The banners, the poster of the leader of the terrorist organizations are abound. They are demonstrating. They’re throwing slogans. And they’re attacking the innocent Turkish descendants in Stockholm. And we have given all the evidence relevant to these developments to our Swedish interlocutors.
Finland, on the other hand, they’re not like Sweden. They’re a bit more calm, and they have more control over the developments. But Sweden is not like that. They’re always using certain reasons. They’re always using certain excuses. They always talk about the Constitution. And, as the reigning principle of the Constitution, they value the freedom of expression. And, in return, I say terrorism has nothing to do with the freedom of expression. And the Turkish Parliament is the eventual decision-maker. […]
Judy Woodruff: Last question. Your relationship with the United States, what shape would you say it’s in?
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (through translator): I can’t say that our relations are ideal. Why? Because our trade volume with the United States is not supposed to be where it is today.
And in the defense industry, we are not at the level that we desire. For example, we have the outstanding issue of F-16s. We have procured F-16s from the United States. But, instead, certain political decisions are being made, resulting in the imposition of sanctions upon Turkey. This is not very becoming of two friendly countries such as the U.S. and Turkey.
We have spoken to the Republicans, and we have received the support of the Republicans. If we can’t get the results out of the United States about the F-16s, what are we going to do? Of course, we’re going to take care of our own selves. Läs intervjun