President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said it is not possible for NATO-member Turkey to support Sweden and Finland joining the transatlantic military alliance in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, signalling a possible blockade to their anticipated ascension bids.
Speaking to reporters in Istanbul on Friday, Erdogan said Ankara did not have “positive views” on the Scandinavian countries’ expected moves to seek membership, accusing them of being “guesthouses for terrorist organisations”.
“They are even members of the parliament in some countries. It is not possible for us to be in favour,” he said, without providing any further details.
Turkey has repeatedly criticised Sweden and other Western European countries for its handling of organisations deemed to be “terrorists” by Ankara, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), as well as the followers of the United States-based Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen.
Ankara has said Gulenists carried out a coup attempt in 2016. Gulen and his supporters deny the accusation.
Finnish leaders urge NATO bid ‘without delay’
Turkey’s opposition could pose a problem for Sweden and Finland given all 30 NATO allies must unanimously approve a new country becoming part of the United-States led alliance.
Erdogan said it had been an error for NATO to admit Greece, with which Ankara is at odds over a host of issues, in 1952 and urged against “similar mistakes” being made now. Turkey also joined NATO in 1952.
His remarks came after Finland’s president and prime minister on Thursday said the country must apply to join the alliance “without delay” – comments which drew the ire of Moscow and saw the Kremlin threaten to retaliate, including with unspecified “military-technical” measures.
Finland, which shares a 1,300-kilometre-long (810-mile-long) border with Russia, is expected to formally announce its decision on Sunday following a meeting of the country’s senior political figures. Sweden is expected to follow suit.
Responding later on Friday to Erdogan’s remarks, Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto urged patience and called for a step-by-step approach in response to the Turkish resistance. There was no immediate response from Sweden, Al Jazeera reports.
See all the news
Financial Services in CAREC
#TheCheckpoints: TIWB & Georgia - Interview with Rusudan Kemularia, Head of TIWB Secretariat
Stoli® Group to Release Limited-Edition Bottle in Support of the Ukrainian People
როგორ მოხვდა 17 წლის ანასტასია ლელაძე ჰარვარდში? - ანასტასია ლელაძე ქალების ნარატივში
"Literally the whole village was waiting for the first harvest of strawberry" - Kvitsiani family from Svaneti
Aliyev replaces long-serving central bank head with loyalist
Putin imposes visa restrictions on citizens from 'unfriendly' countries
BMG-ს მედია რუბრიკა: #პროფესიონალი - გიორგი მიქაია
Business Leaders Council by USAID and Georgian Business
ვინ არის მსოფლიოში #1 სნაიპერი “Wali”?
ბინების ქირის ფასი 50%-მდე გაიზარდა
"Today we are all Ukrainians"- Zurab Pololikashvili
Tourism is the main bridge for building understanding - ZURAB POLOLIKASHVILI
FAQ’s and Analysis on Lari & FDI - Interview with Fady Asly
მინერალური და მტკნარი წყლის ფასები ქართულ ბაზარზე
China continues to push competitors out of the global walnut market
Moscow to Host First Meeting of Turkish & Armenian Special Envoys on Jan 14
Scientists Discover New Part of the Human Body
Turkey's Exports Soar by 33.7% to $21.5B in November