Turkey opposes Sweden and Finland joining NATO, accuses them of being a haven for Kurdish terrorists
Finland and Sweden have taken a further step towards NATO membership, which has provoked Russia’s reaction. The entry of both countries into NATO is opposed by Turkey. Turkey’s President Erdogan today accused the two Nordic countries of being a haven for Kurdish terrorists. To join the Atlantic organization requires the unanimous agreement of all its members.
Erdogan is referring to the presence of up to 6 Kurdish MPs in Sweden’s parliament. Although a NATO member, Turkey wants to protect at all costs its relationship with Russia built on important energy and tourism agreements. It is a relationship that also allows Erdogan to appear tougher vis-à-vis Europe to gain more room for negotiation on issues such as for example Turkey’s accession to the EU or to gain more collaboration in the police pursuit against the PKK.
“We are closely following the developments concerning Sweden and Finland, but we do not have a favorable opinion. Scandinavian countries are like guest houses for terrorist organizations. I go even further, they (terrorists) also have space in their parliaments,” the Turkish president has assured.
He also indicated that he does not want to make the “mistake” of Greece’s entry into the Alliance because he believes that the Greek country used its new position against his country: “Previous governments made mistakes about NATO with Greece before. We already know Greece’s attitude towards Turkey. We don’t want to make a second mistake,” the Turkish president has assured.”
Both Nordic countries could join NATO in a context strongly marked by the war in Ukraine and Russia’s threats to these countries in case they join the organization. In fact, Russia has held an extraordinary security council to address the future entry of Sweden and Finland. It is also threatening to cut off electricity to the latter, although it claims that this is due to difficulties in receiving payments for sanctions.