Turkey throws spanner in works as Erdogan ‘cannot say yes’ to Finland-Sweden NATO bid

Expert: Turkey will eventually lift NATO 'blockade'

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The Turkish leader said talks with the two countries about joining the Western alliance were not at the “expected level” as he says he cannot say yes to “terrorism-supporting” countries.

The objection by Turkey is expected to hold up a deal that would allow for an expansion of NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

All 30 NATO members must approve plans to enlarge the military alliance.

Mr Erdogan told reporters last week: “For as long as Tayyip Erdogan is the head of the Republic of Turkey, we definitely cannot say ‘yes’ to countries which support terrorism entering NATO”.

Sweden and Finland have reportedly refused to extradite members of the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK, which is considered a “terrorist organisation” in Turkey.

According to Turkish media, the extradition list also includes the anti-government publisher Ragip Zarakolu, who lives in Sweden.

The objection is also believed to be because the countries’ halted arms exports to Ankara in 2019.

Despite Erdogan’s comments, Sweden and Finland have said they condemn terrorism and welcomed the possibility of coordinating with Ankara.

The Turkish President also said Turkey wanted to see an end to the war between Russia and Ukraine as soon as possible, but that the situation was becoming more negative each day


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