Turkey opposed this Friday (13) the entry of Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is the first time that a member of the Western military alliance has spoken out against the accession of the two Scandinavian countries, which were neutral but after the invasion of Ukraine Russia decided to join NATO.
Turkish President Tayip Erdogan said his country, a NATO member since the 1950s, is not in favor of Finland and Sweden joining.who are expected to present their candidacy to join the alliance as early as next week.
To try to end the impasse, the foreign ministers of Sweden, Finland and Turkey will meet this Saturday (14) in Berlin, Germany, where they will discuss an agreement.
Presidents Erdogan and Putin have developed a ‘pragmatic friendship’ over the years (Photo: Getty Images/Via BBC)
Despite being part of NATO, Turkey also maintains strong relations with Russia, one of its main trading partners. And the Kremlin has already promised unprecedented retaliation if Scandinavian countries, geographically close to Russia, join the military alliance.
Officially, however, Erdogan argued that Finland and Sweden “give shelter” to Kurdish refugees who, according to him, are part of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, a group considered terrorist by Turkey.
“We don’t have a positive opinion. The Scandinavian countries are like a guest house for terrorist organizations,” he declared.
Turkey’s reaction is the first discordant voice within NATO on the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Alliance.
Since the beginning of the crisis and after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Turkey has done its best to maintain good relations with the two countries, on which its economy is heavily dependent.