Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday morning that he “does not support” the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Turkey’s position is justified by its support for the Kurdish issue in the Nordic countries. Turkey, a member of NATO, regards Kurdish militants fighting for independence as “terrorist groups.” Ankara can use its veto as a member of a military organization to prevent Finland and Sweden from joining.
Erdogan said he did not “want to repeat the mistake made” against Turkey when Greece joined NATO.
Following Turkey’s negative position on Finland’s accession to NATO, the Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, mentioned in the statements Helsinki, that “many steps need to be taken and there needs to be a direct dialogue with each of the 30 Member States”.
“The dialogue with Turkey will be difficult and with Croatia, which has also shown conflicting views on the accession of Finland and Sweden to the organization,” he said. Pekka Haavisto pointed out that “The problems that separate the opinions of these countries are often not in the hands of Finns, so there will be a lot of discussion when the NATO membership application is approved by Parliament. “
According to the Foreign Minister, “there are many steps and processes that need to be taken now and there are points that Finland must meet and that the points built by NATO must be respected by Finns”.
Portuguese Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho, who was present in Helsinki on Friday, met with his Finnish counterpart to discuss bilateral issues and the situation in Ukraine, he showed Portugal’s support for Finland’s accession to NATO, saying he did not believe “Turkey was an obstacle”.
Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952 and generally supports the group’s expansion.