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Turkey’s leader says ‘no’ to Sweden and Finland’s Nato bid – Times of India


Turkey President Erdogan (File photograph)

ISTANBUL: Turkey will oppose Sweden and Finland becoming a member of NATO, the nation’s president flatly said in a video launched Thursday.
“We have told our relevant friends we would say ‘no’ to Finland and Sweden’s entry into Nato, and we will continue on our path like this,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan informed a bunch of Turkish youth within the video for Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, a nationwide vacation.
Turkey’s approval of Finland and Sweden’s utility to affix the Western army alliance is essential as a result of Nato makes choices by consensus. Each of its 30 member international locations has the ability to veto a membership bid.
Erdogan has stated Turkey’s objection stems from grievances with Sweden’s – and to a lesser diploma with Finland’s – perceived assist of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and an armed group in Syria that Turkey sees as an extension of the PKK. The battle with the PKK has killed tens of hundreds of individuals since 1984.
Turkey additionally accuses Sweden and Finland of harboring the followers of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric whom the Turkish authorities blames for 2016 army coup try.
A full recording of Erdogan’s dialog with the youth for the vacation that marks the start of the Turkish War of Independence in 1919 is predicted to be launched Thursday night time. It was not instantly clear when the dialog passed off.
In the remarks made obtainable earlier Thursday, Erdogan accused the 2 potential Nato members and particularly Sweden of being “a focus of terror, home to terror.” He accused them of giving monetary and weapons assist to the armed teams, and claimed the international locations’ alleged hyperlinks to terror organizations meant they shouldn’t be a part of the trans-Atlantic alliance.
Turkish officers, together with the president, even have pointed to arms restrictions on Turkey as a purpose for Ankara’s opposition to the 2 international locations changing into a part of Nato.
Several European international locations, together with Sweden and Finland, restricted arms exports to Turkey following the nation’s cross-border operation into northeast Syria in 2019 with the said aim of clearing the border space of Kurdish militants.
Turkey says the Syrian Kurdish People’s Defense Units, or YPG, is instantly linked to the PKK, and Ankara was pissed off by American assist for them in preventing the Islamic State group.

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