Delegations from these countries should not bother to ask Ankara to approve their applications, the president said
Turkey will not say “yes” to Finland’s and Sweden’s bid for NATO membership, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, adding that any attempt to persuade Ankara to change its position would be fruitless.
Both governments officially announced their intention to join the US-led military bloc this weekend. Turkey had previously warned that it could oppose the move, and Erdogan called the two Nordic countries “guesthouses for terrorist organizations”. He was referring to the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP / C), which has been banned by Ankara.
“These countries do not have a clear unequivocal attitude towards terrorist organizations. Sweden is an incubation center for terrorist organizations. They bring in terrorists to speak in their parliaments. We would not say ‘yes’ to joining NATO, a security organization. They were coming. “Come on Monday to convince us. Sorry, they do not have to care,” said Erdogan.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that senior officials from Helsinki and Stockholm would travel to Turkey to discuss the matter. However, Erdogan indicated at the press conference that such talks would be meaningless.
To join the block, a country’s membership offer must be approved unanimously by all 30 members. It is likely that Ankara will be pressured by the United States to reverse its objections.
NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana had previously said he was confident his organization would be able to overcome Turkey’s reservations.
Finland and Sweden decided to reconsider their long-standing alliance freedom policy after a major change in public opinion in the midst of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. According to recent surveys, a majority in both countries now support NATO membership.
The countries’ decision to apply for NATO membership has been condemned by Moscow. In the opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the new development exacerbates an already complicated international security situation.