Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he is not looking at Finland and Sweden joining NATO “positively,” accusing both counties of housing Kurdish “terrorist organizations.”
“We are following the developments but do not view it positively,” Erdoğan said in a presser following Friday prayers in Istanbul.
“Unfortunately, Scandinavian countries are like guesthouses of terror organizations,” Erdoğan alleged. “PKK and DHKP-C have taken shelter in Sweden and Netherlands. They have even taken place in their parliaments. At this stage, it is not possible for us to see this positively.”
The PKK, or Kurdistan Worker’s Party, which seeks an independent state in Turkey, has been in an armed struggle with Turkey for decades and has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU.
DHKP-C is an extreme left organization hostile to the Turkish state, the United States and NATO.
Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde responded, saying that “the Turkish government has not delivered this kind of message directly to us.”
“My Turkish foreign minister colleague, with whom I have a very good and constructive relationship, is coming to this weekend’s informal NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Berlin, where both Sweden and Finland have been invited,” Linde said.
“We will then have the opportunity to talk to each other about a possible Swedish NATO application, and I hope that we will continue to receive positive messages from all 30 NATO countries. Many of the 30 allies have publicly expressed very strong support for Sweden and Finland,” she added.
NATO foreign ministers are meeting in Germany on Saturday, and Finnish, Swedish, and Turkish ministers of foreign affairs will have the opportunity to discuss Turkey’s reaction.
CNN has reached out to the Netherlands for comment, and it has yet to respond.
Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday, according to Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu.