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Erdogan says he opposes Sweden and Finland joining NATO – Reuters




Turkey, a NATO member with veto power, opposes Sweden and Finland joining the alliance, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan telling reporters on Friday that he did not look favorably on the candidature of the countries. Analysts warn that the Turkish leadership’s stance is likely to reignite questions over Ankara’s allegiances given its close ties to Moscow.

At the moment, we are following the developments regarding Sweden and Finland, but we don’t have positive opinions, Erdogan said. Because in the past, previous Turkish governments were wrong about Greece’s membership, and you know the current attitude of Greece against Turkey.

Turkey and neighboring Greece are bitter rivals with many disputes, including lingering tensions over disputed territorial waters in the Aegean Sea. But Erdogan’s position has more to do with his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Huseyin Bagci, director of the Ankara-based Foreign Policy Institute.

Turkey has very good relations with Russia, and Russia provides defense systems, he said. Russia is, for now and in the future, one of Turkey’s biggest energy suppliers. The good relations between Erdogan and Putin are also the reason why Tayyip Erdogan plays this card. The second, Tayyip Erdogan is trying to increase the influence of the Turkish negotiation process through this.

Turkey remains at odds with NATO over its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system, which saw the US hit Ankara with military sanctions, saying the purchase compromised the country’s defense systems NATO.

International relations expert Soli Ozel of Istanbul’s Kadir Has University has warned that Ankara risks a backlash from its NATO partners over its opposition to Sweden’s and Turkey’s membership. Finland.

I’m sure that’s how it will be interpreted, and there will be those who say let’s expel Turkey from NATO, although as far as I know there is no expulsion mechanism in NATO , Ozel said.

But relations between Turkey and its allied partners, particularly Washington, had improved with Ankara’s condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Turkey has recently shown good will in its stance on Ukraine to improve relations with its Western allies.

Some analysts suggest Erdogan may seek concessions from Sweden and Finland. Erdogan on Friday criticized the two countries for their sympathy with Kurdish groups accused by Ankara of carrying out terrorist attacks in Turkey. Helsinki and Stockholm are highly critical of Turkey’s human rights record and both countries have granted political asylum to many opponents of the Turkish government.

Analyst Ozel said Erdogan could seek a deal, but questions his approach.

Turkey would like to use its veto as leverage to get these two countries to do as it pleases, Ozel said. How wise that is is quite debatable in my opinion; I’m not particular[ly] find it highly recommended. Because if Turkey is on a charm offensive and they’re trying to rebuild bridges they’ve cut with almost everyone, you can actually make your point, but you don’t have to. so publicly.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said patience was needed to overcome Erdogan’s opposition. NATO foreign ministers, including Turkey, are due to meet in Berlin this weekend.

Credit: Voice of America (VOA)
Photo credit: Getty Images




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