Turkey Refuses Membership Of Finland And Sweden To NATO, Here Are The Reasons

Turkey Refuses Membership Of Finland And Sweden To NATO, Here Are The Reasons
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks ahead of the peace talks between delegations from Russia and Ukraine at Dolmabahce Presidential Office in Istanbul, Turkiye on March 29, 2022.

International Military - The dispute between Russia and Ukraine in fact has also made many countries take extreme steps. One of them is the two neighboring countries, namely Finland and Sweden. The two countries firmly want membership of the western security alliance, namely NATO.

But unfortunately, there is one NATO member who rejects this idea, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said publicly that he does not agree with the membership of the two countries. this.

"We have told allies that we will say no to Finland and Sweden's NATO membership," President Erdoğan told Reuters. As for some of the reasons why the president insisted on rejecting Finland and Sweden, the following is an explanation.

Kurdish Militancy

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused Finland and Sweden of harboring Kurdish militant groups, i.e. terrorist organizations in Turkey. The Turkish president added that Sweden in particular provides a safe haven for members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and followers of Fethullah Gülen. It was they who orchestrated the coup attempt in 2016, “We asked to extradite 30 terrorists, but they (Finland and Sweden) refused”, he told The Guardian.

Turkey demands that these two candidates acknowledge its concerns about Kurdish militias, both within Turkey and in Syria and Iraq. And this is the biggest reason for tensions between NATO members, even though they recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization.

Many have supported even arming its Syria branch, namely in the fight against Islamic countries, reports Bloomberg. Ankara insists that any new candidate for NATO membership acknowledges its concerns about Kurdish militias - both within Turkey and across its borders in Syria and Iraq.

Erdogan said NATO had never supported Turkey in its fight against the PKK and other Kurdish militant groups.

Turkey demands Finland and Sweden publicly condemn not only the PKK, but also its affiliates before being allowed to join NATO. And it is not enough just to designate the PKK as a terrorist organization, the two countries must do more to suppress PKK sympathizers who are said to be active in their countries.

Weapon Export

Turkey also wants Finland and Sweden along with several other European Union members to end arms export restrictions they have imposed on Ankara. Turkish officials have said that in principle they would not accept expanding the military alliance to a country that blocks arms deals.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated publicly that arms restrictions are against the spirit of the alliance.

Past Mistakes

Turkey accepted Greece back into NATO in the 1980s after the two countries went to war in 1974 over Cyprus, and this was a mistake.

Greece and its Cypriot allies then became an obstacle for Turkey to become a member of the European Union (EU). And has been involved in persistent territorial disputes with Turkey over parts of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

Learning from that, Western officials say it is unwise to expect Turkey to accept Finland and Sweden as NATO members, unless the dispute is resolved first.

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