Cihat Yayci suggests Turkey won't support Nordic NATO membership
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Finnish President, Sauli Niinisto, said on Sunday that Helsinki will prepare an application for membership. Sweden will also formally apply for membership of the alliance, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson confirmed on Monday.
But approval for new members needs to be unanimous among the 30 states, and Turkish leader Erdogan has restated his opportunity to the two Scandinavian countries joining NATO ranks.
Calling the two countries a “hatchery” for terrorist organisations, Erdogan’s refusal to consent to their membership is linked to what Ankara sees as the countries’ hosting of those it deems terrorists.
With this term, Turkey refers to the Kurdistan Workers Party, and those who follow Fethullah Gulen.
Ankara blames this group for an attempted coup in 2016.
Erdogan said during a news conference: “Neither of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organisations.”
He added: “How can we trust them?”
He then said NATO would then become “a place where representatives of terrorist organisations are concentrated” if the alliance assented to Sweden and Finland joining.
President Erdogan added that the two nations should not bother sending representatives to Ankara on a mission to win his approval.
Sweden had said they would send a delegation to Turkey to address Erdogan’s objections.
But the Turkish President dismissed these plans
Erdogan said: “They are coming to Turkey on Monday.
“Are they coming to convince us? Excuse me but they should not tire themselves.”
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