Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he does not look at Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO as “positive”, accusing both provinces of harboring Kurdish “terrorist organizations”.
“We are monitoring developments, but do not see it positively,” Erdoğan said in a press release after Friday prayers in Istanbul.
“Unfortunately, the Scandinavian countries are like boarding houses for terrorist organizations,” Erdoğan claimed. “PKK and DHKP-C have taken refuge in Sweden and the Netherlands. They have even taken a seat in their parliaments. At this stage it is not possible for us to see this positively.”
The PKK, or Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which strives for an independent state in Turkey, has waged an armed struggle with Turkey for decades and has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU.
DHKP-C is a far-left organization hostile to the Turkish state, the United States and NATO.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde responded, saying that “the Turkish government has not sent us such messages directly”.
“My colleague from the Turkish Foreign Minister, with whom I have a very good and constructive relationship, is coming this weekend to the informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin, where both Sweden and Finland are invited,” said Linde.
“We will then have the opportunity to discuss a possible Swedish NATO application, and I hope we will continue to receive positive messages from all 30 NATO countries. Many of the 30 allies have publicly expressed their strong support for Sweden and Finland,” she added.
NATO foreign ministers will meet in Germany on Saturday and Finnish, Swedish and Turkish foreign ministers will have the opportunity to discuss Turkey’s response.
DailyExpertNews has reached out to the Netherlands for comment and has not yet responded.
According to Turkish state news agency Anadolu, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday.