Turkey will not allow Sweden in NATO unless the attacks on the Koran stop: Erdogan
Turkey’s president says Ankara’s view of Finland’s bid is positive, signaling support for it separately from Sweden’s.
Turkey rules out Sweden joining NATO as long as it allows attacks on Islam’s holy book the Koran, the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
“We will not say yes to (Sweden’s) entry into NATO as long as you allow our holy book, the Koran, to be burned, torn and done with (the approval of) your security personnel,” Erdogan said. refers to the recent burning of a Koran in Stockholm.
“We are closely following developments regarding NATO’s enlargement process. Our view of Finland is positive, but not of Sweden,” he said, signaling a willingness to support Finland’s NATO bid separately from Sweden’s.
His comments came after Danish-Swedish pedophile Rasmus Paludan last week burned copies of the Koran on two separate occasions, first outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm and then in front of a mosque in Denmark.
Paludan also said he would burn the Muslim holy book every Friday until Sweden is admitted to the NATO alliance.
READ MORE: “Stop provoking” – Swedes express concern over actions against Türkiye, Islam
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last May, a decision spurred by Russia’s military action against Ukraine, which started on February 24, 2022.
But Türkiye – a NATO member for more than 70 years – expressed objections, accusing the two countries of tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups. According to a memorandum signed last June between Turkey, Sweden and Finland, the two Nordic countries pledged to take action against terrorists in order to gain membership in the NATO alliance.
In the agreement, Sweden and Finland agreed not to give support to terrorist groups such as the PKK and its offshoots, and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), and to extradite terrorist suspects to Türkiye, among other things.
Unanimous agreement from all NATO members, including Türkiye, is required for any new members to be accepted into the alliance.
Turkey’s response to Finland’s NATO bid may “shock” Sweden – Erdogan
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara has fewer problems with Finland becoming a member of NATO than with neighboring Sweden. However, he stressed that it was up to the military alliance to decide whether to accept just one country or the Nordic duo together – something both countries are committed to.
Should NATO decide to handle the Nordic neighbors’ membership processes separately, “(Türkiye) will then of course reconsider (ratify) Finland’s membership separately and more favorably, I can say,” Cavusoglu said during a joint press conference with his Estonian counterpart in Tallinn. He did not give a time frame.
Erdogan also reiterated that Turkey’s view of Finland’s membership was “positive”.
“But it is not positive with Sweden, it should be known,” Erdogan said.
Sweden’s share of PKK terrorist financing is greater than Finland’s – NATO negotiators
Source: TRTWorld and agencies