‘Guesthouses for Terrorist Organisations’ – Turkey Opposes Sweden and Finland Joining NATO

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Vladimir Smirnov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed disapproval at the idea of Sweden and Finland joining the NATO military alliance, claiming they harbour terrorists and terrorist organisations.

President Erdogan hinted at a possible veto of the two Scandinavian countries, as all NATO members must agree unanimously to accept new members into the military alliance.

“We are following developments concerning Sweden and Finland carefully, but we are not of a favourable opinion,” the Turkish leader said to the media on Friday, Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reports.

“[T]he Scandinavian countries, unfortunately, are almost like guesthouses for terrorist organizations. PKK, DHKP-C are nested in the Netherlands and Sweden. I go further, they also take part in the parliaments there. It is not possible for us to have a positive look,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan claimed that Sweden, along with other Scandinavian countries, had supported groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is a designated terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and the United States.

It was suspected of having a role in the 1986 death of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, although in 2020 Swedish prosecutors named a graphic designer who killed himself in 2000 as the prime suspect.

Following Erdogan’s statements, the United States said it will seek clarification from Turkey on the country’s position on Swedish and Finnish NATO membership, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken expected to attend an informal NATO meeting in Berlin where Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is also scheduled to attend.

Earlier this week, Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced they support Finland joining NATO.

“Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay,” the pair said in a joint statement. “We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”

Sweden also released a report this week on NATO which stated that joining the alliance would be in the interests of Sweden and could deter the risk of a military conflict.

“Sweden’s membership in NATO would raise the threshold [for triggering] military conflicts and would thus have a deterrent effect in Northern Europe,” the report claimed.

Swedish newspaper Expressen has reported that the country may submit an application to join NATO as early as next week.

Should both Scandinavian countries decide to apply to join the alliance, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg has promised Sweden security guarantees during the membership application process, and suggested they could be fast-tracked to full membership.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com.

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