Erdogan: Türkiye does not favour Finland, Sweden joining NATO for now

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Erdogan aftershocks: The foreign ministers of Finland and Sweden, whose applications to NATO are on the agenda, wanted to meet with Turkish foreign minister Çavuşoğlu

These “Scandinavian countries are like terrorist groups guesthouses … there are supporters of terrorism in parliament. We cannot be positive towards this,” Turkish President Erdogan says.

Longstanding NATO member Türkiye is following the discussion over Finland and Sweden seeking to join the alliance, but for now does not have a positive view, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

“We are currently following developments. We currently do not have a positive position on the issue of Sweden and Finland (joining NATO),” Erdogan told reporters on Friday, adding it was a mistake for NATO to accept Greece as a member in the past.

“As Türkiye, we don’t want to repeat similar mistakes. Furthermore, Scandinavian countries are guesthouses for terrorist organisations,” Erdogan said.

“They are even members of the parliament in some countries. It is not possible for us to be in favour,” he added.

Serious question marks’

In July 2020, Türkiye slammed a video meeting between Sweden’s foreign minister and members of the terrorist group YPG/PKK, the Syrian branch of the PKK.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the incident “raises serious question marks about Sweden’s approach to combating terrorism as a matter of priority.”

Finland’s plan to apply for NATO membership, announced on Thursday, and the expectation that Sweden will follow, would bring about the expansion of the Western military alliance that Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed to prevent by launching offensive against Ukraine.

Under NATO rules, any decision on enlargement must be made “by unanimous agreement,” effectively giving Türkiye the power to veto any new members.

NATO states that membership is open to any “European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”

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