Why Turkey objects Finland and Sweden NATO bids

Why Turkey objects Finland and Sweden NATO bids

Ankara will not agree to admit Finland and Sweden to NATO after these countries refused to extradite suspected terrorists, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

"There are reports that they won’t extradite terrorists. We will not say yes to the admission of these two countries to NATO," he said after talks with his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Turkey’s TRT television channel reported earlier on Monday that Finland and Sweden, which are seeking to join NATO but Turkey objects against it, refused to satisfy Ankara’s request for the extradition of 33 people suspected of the involvement in the activities of groups recognized as terrorists in Turkey, in particular the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). According to TRT, some of the requests were turned down and some were unanswered at all.

Erdogan said on May 13 he did not think Finland’s and Sweden’s possible accession to NATO was a positive thing as these countries, in his words, were a "guesthouse for terrorist organizations." On the following day, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Finland and Sweden of open support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, saying that the majority of his fellow countrymen are against admitting these countries to NATO. Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on the same day that Ankara was not against admitting these two countries to NATO but wanted the alliance to reckon with its national security concerns.

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