According to Erdogan, Turkey could only agree to Finland joining NATO

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The Turkish President is giving Finland hope that he will agree to their NATO membership.

(Photo: via REUTERS)

Ankara Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatens Sweden to only allow Finland to join NATO. “We could send a different message to Finland. Sweden will be shocked when they see our answer,” Erdogan said in a TV speech on Sunday. However, Finland should not make the same mistakes as Sweden.

NATO member Turkey has been blocking the admission of the two Nordic countries into the western military alliance for months. Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO after the Russians invaded Ukraine. This requires the approval of all 30 NATO countries.

Turkey is making accession subject to conditions. In particular, she demanded that Sweden extradite people considered terrorists by Ankara. It is about supporters of the banned Curonian Workers’ Party PKK and the cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government blames for the attempted coup in 2016. Sweden denies sheltering extremists.

Erdogan recently declared that after the Koran was burned in Stockholm, Sweden should not expect any support from Turkey for its planned NATO membership. Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto recently considered a break in talks with Turkey about Sweden and his country joining NATO to be appropriate given the ongoing impasse. Parliamentary and presidential elections are due in Turkey in mid-May.

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