Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Turkey’s president says no to Sweden and Finland’s Nato bid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkish Presidency via AP Photo)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkish Presidency via AP Photo)

Turkey’s president has flatly stated that his country will oppose Sweden and Finland joining Nato.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a group of Turkish youth in a video released on Thursday: “We have told our relevant friends we would say ‘no’ to Finland and Sweden’s entry into Nato, and we will continue on our path like this.”

Turkey’s approval of Finland and Sweden’s application to join the western military alliance is crucial because Nato makes decisions by consensus.

Each of its 30 member countries has the power to veto a membership bid.

Nato member countries in Europe
(PA Graphics)

Mr Erdogan has said Turkey’s objection stems from grievances with Sweden’s – and to a lesser degree with Finland’s – perceived support of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and an armed group in Syria that Turkey sees as an extension of the PKK.

The conflict with the PKK has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.

Turkey also accuses Sweden and Finland of harbouring the followers of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric whom the Turkish government blames for a 2016 military coup attempt.

A full recording of Mr Erdogan’s conversation with the youth for the Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day, a national holiday that marks the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence in 1919, is expected to be released on Thursday night.

It was not immediately clear when the conversation took place.

In the remarks made available earlier on Thursday, Mr Erdogan accused the two prospective Nato members and especially Sweden of being “a focus of terror, home to terror”.

He claimed their links to terror organisations meant they should not be part of the transatlantic alliance.

Turkish officials, including the president, have also pointed to arms restrictions on Turkey as a reason for Ankara’s opposition to the two countries becoming part of Nato.

Several European countries, including Sweden and Finland, restricted arms exports to Turkey following the country’s cross-border operation into north-east Syria in 2019 with the stated goal of clearing the border area of Kurdish militants.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]