Monday May 23, 2022

Turkey to oppose Finland´s possible NATO membership bid

Published : 13 May 2022, 19:47

Updated : 13 May 2022, 21:56

  DF Report

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, on March 18, 2020. File Photo Xinhua.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said that it was not possible for Turkey to support the possible NATO membership applications by Finland and Sweden, local and international media reported.

NATO membership application needs to be approved by all 30 member countries.

"We are following the developments regarding Sweden and Finland, but we don't hold positive views," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul, pointing out that the countries were “home to many terrorist organisations".

The Turkish president indicated Kurdish militant groups PKK and YPG, and the followers of U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen as the militant groups saying that the Nordic countries are guesthouses for them.

Erdogan also said that accepting Greece as a NATO member was a mistake in the past and the same mistake not to be done repeatedly.

Earlier on Thursday, President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin stated their positions in favour of Finland´s possible application for NATO membership.

Niinistö and Marin in a joint statement stated their views in the morning saying that NATO membership would strengthen Finland's security and Finland must apply for the membership without delay.