President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterates Turkey will not support intentions Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic National Defense Alliance (NATO).
Erdoan said the Finnish and Swedish delegations should not bother visiting Ankara to lobby Turkey to soften its membership in NATO.
“Sweden also does not need to hope that Turkey will agree to its intention to enter NATO without returning the terrorists,” Erdogan said in a speech to lawmakers from the ruling APK party faction on Wednesday (18/5).
Erdogan referred to political figures and activists accused of the failed coup attempt in 2016 and fleeing abroad, including Finland and Sweden.
Ankara also accuses Finland and Sweden of harboring terror groups including Kurdish militias which are blacklisted by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
“Neither of these countries has a firm stance against terror organizations,” Erdogan said.
On the occasion, Erdogan also asked NATO members to respect the security concerns that Turkey feels towards Finland and Sweden.
“Our only hope for NATO allies is first to understand our sensitivity, respect and ultimately support us on this matter,” Erdogan was quoted as saying. AFP.
Apart from accusing the two countries of being terrorist havens, one of the reasons Turkey refuses to support Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO is because both countries are still imposing sanctions on Ankara.
Sweden has suspended arms sales to Turkey since 2019. The policy came after Ankara’s military operation in Syria.
Despite Turkey’s refusal, Finland and Sweden officially submitted membership registration documents to NATO.
Representatives of NATO member states will reportedly discuss the Swedish-Finnish application in the near future.