While Sweden and Finland are reportedly on the verge of joining NATO, the Turkish administration have voiced disapproval of the idea of granting membership to the two countries.
Asked about what he thought about Sweden and Finland becoming NATO members, Turkish president Erdoğan said on Friday that Turkey did not feel positive about it, as the two countries had long been safe havens for terrorist groups like the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“We’re monitoring developments, but we don’t have positive feelings about it. Previous administrations made a mistake in respect of Greece’s NATO membership, and you know the stance Greece has taken against Turkey, securing NATO’s support in the process. We don’t want Turkey to make another mistake like that.”
Speaking before NATO’s meeting of foreign ministers in Berlin on Saturday, the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu said that Sweden and Finland must stop supporting PKK if they are to be accepted into NATO.
“As you know, NATO is not a union or an international organisation. NATO is an alliance. What are the requirements of this? It’s not just a matter of security. It also requires close cooperation, in every field, but particularly when there is a security threat,” he said.
“Unfortunately these countries you’ve mentioned openly support the PKK and the YPG, before our very eyes and despite all our warnings, which has a negative impact on the sensitivities of our people. A country which is to be an ally cannot openly support terrorist groups like the PKK and the YPG, who attack and kill our troops, our police officers and our citizens every day.”