Turkey, Finland and Sweden discuss NATO membership

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The foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland will meet their Turkish counterpart in Berlin on Saturday evening to try to clear things up on the two countries’ NATO membership. Turkey has given mixed signals about accepting their candidacy.

Turkey accuses Finland and especially Sweden of harboring the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with which Turkey has waged a guerrilla war for decades. Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist organization. According to Turkey, the party raises funds and recruits in Sweden and Finland.

Upon his arrival in Berlin, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu blasted the Nordic countries. He described as “unacceptable and scandalous” the fact that aspiring NATO members support the PKK.

Still not a closed door

Earlier in the day, Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the door was not closed. Kalin, who is also Erdogan’s top foreign policy adviser, told Reuters news agency that Turkey wanted to negotiate a crackdown on “terrorist” activities, particularly in Stockholm.

Erdogan said on Friday evening that he was not in favor of NATO expanding to the two countries.

Finland and Sweden want to join the military alliance in response to the Russian attack on Ukraine. The thirty NATO countries must give the green light to the accession of new members.

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