August 19, 2022
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Turkey’s leader says ‘no’ to Sweden and Finland’s Nato bid

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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’ve advised our related mates we might say ‘no’ to Finland and Sweden’s entry into Nato, and we’ll proceed on our path like this,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan advised a bunch of Turkish youth within the video for Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports activities Day, a nationwide vacation.
Turkey’s approval of Finland and Sweden’s utility to affix the Western navy alliance is essential as a result of Nato makes choices by consensus. Every of its 30 member international locations has the facility to veto a membership bid.
Erdogan has mentioned Turkey’s objection stems from grievances with Sweden’s – and to a lesser diploma with Finland’s – perceived assist of the banned Kurdistan Employees’ Celebration, 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 1000’s 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 navy coup try.
A full recording of Erdogan’s dialog with the youth for the vacation that marks the start of the Turkish Struggle of Independence in 1919 is predicted to be launched Thursday night time. It was not instantly clear when the dialog passed off.
Within the remarks made out there earlier Thursday, Erdogan accused the 2 potential Nato members and particularly Sweden of being “a spotlight of terror, residence 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 turning into a part of Nato.
A number of 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 purpose of clearing the border space of Kurdish militants.
Turkey says the Syrian Kurdish Individuals’s Protection Items, or YPG, is straight linked to the PKK, and Ankara was annoyed by American assist for them in preventing the Islamic State group.

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