Turkey says its demands are “concrete” and the Nordic states must accept them in order to join the alliance.
After talks in Ankara on Wednesday, Turkish government spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters that his government would not allow Finland and Sweden to join the NATO alliance unless Turkey “Concrete” Security concerns related to terrorism and sanctions are met. Kalin added that Ankara would not rush into an agreement before the next NATO meeting.
Representatives of Sweden and Finland met with their Turkish counterparts in Ankara for five hours after their joint request to join the NATO military alliance last week. Their accession requires the unanimous consent of the 30 member states, and Turkey has threatened to block the process if the two countries do not crack down on groups considered terrorist.
“Without Turkey’s security concerns, no NATO expansion process can take place.” Kalin said this at the press conference after the discussion. “NATO is a security agency” “It simply came to our notice then “Security concerns of member countries are met equally and fairly.”
Turkey has demanded that Sweden and Finland lift arms embargoes on Turkey and extradite individuals linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gulen Movement (FETO). Although both Sweden and Finland consider the PKK a terrorist organization, Turkey has also claimed that it will apply the same designation to the Syrian Kurdish military and political groups YPG and PYD, respectively.
Kalin says the Turkish side is pressuring Sweden to be sympathetic to its internal PKK and to crack down on their funding and media operations. Sweden in particular has been identified by Turkey, with Ankara accusing Stockholm of arming the Kurds with anti-tank weapons, which are used in the Kurdish ongoing border clashes with Turkey.
Swedish and Finnish officials will now return to their capital to discuss Turkey’s demands, Kalin described. “Concrete.” The membership process of the two Nordic states can only continue “In a way that will address Turkey’s security concerns.” He said.
NATO leaders are due to meet in Madrid, Spain, later this month, but Kalin says Turkey “Not under the pressure of time” By then, an agreement has to be reached with Sweden and Finland.
Turkey has demanded a waiver from the NATO applicant
Both Sweden and Finland have called for Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine to encourage it to join the US-led NATO alliance. Their membership has been warmly welcomed in Washington and by European leaders of NATO, with the exception of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Croatian President Zoran Milanovic, who have blocked their appeals until the alleged legal persecution of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina is resolved.
Moscow responds to NATO’s request “Serious mistake with long lasting effects.” Nevertheless, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that Russia considers the two countries’ NATO aspirations less than Ukraine’s, where potential regional disputes “It will be a huge risk for the whole continent.”