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Member of NATO against Sweden and Finland as a bloc

Turkey has opposed the alliance intentions of Scandinavian nations, saying they are like ‘a guest house for terrorists’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday that Ankara opposes the possibility of Sweden and Finland joining NATO because it believes the two Scandinavian nations are harboring “terrorists”.

By “terrorists,” the Turkish leader meant activists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a separatist movement operating in southeastern Turkey, and members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP/C), a banned Turkish communist party.

The statement came after Helsinki and Stockholm signaled their intention to join the US-led military alliance.

“We are currently monitoring developments regarding Sweden and Finland [joining NATO], but we are not in favor of it. At this stage, it is not possible for us to have a positive approach,” the Turkish president told reporters.

“Scandinavian countries are unfortunately almost like guesthouses for terrorist organizations. PKK and DHKP/C are nested in Sweden and the Netherlands. And I go even further, in their parliaments,” he added.

In April, concerned about Russia’s military action in Ukraine, Sweden and Finland began to consider abandoning their neutral status and joining NATO. Senior Finnish officials have already backed the initiative. Sweden must decide whether to join the military bloc on May 15.

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Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated that the US-led organization would be keen to include both nations and move the membership process forward quickly.

Moscow has repeatedly said that it views NATO expansion as a threat to its national security. The Kremlin also warned Sweden and Finland that they would compromise their security, rather than improve it, by joining the alliance.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the republics from the Donbass of Donetsk and Lugansk. The Minsk Protocol, brokered by Germany and France, was designed to give breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.


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