“We have told those responsible in NATO that we will say no to the accession of Finland and Sweden. And we will continue to do so, »said Erdogan on Thursday on the state broadcaster TRT.
Turkey blocked the start of admission talks with the two Nordic countries in the NATO Council on Wednesday. This is justified with alleged support of the banned Kurdish workers’ party PKK and the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG. As a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Finland and Sweden want to join the western military alliance.
Experts suspect various motives behind the Turkish actions. Arms deals could also play a role. Ankara wants to buy fighter jets in the United States – but a possible deal was recently politically controversial in Washington.
Others suspect domestic political motives behind Erdogan’s statements. Its poll numbers are falling. Demands for tougher action against the PKK have traditionally resonated with nationalist constituencies.