May 16, 2022
Are they coming to try and convince us? Sorry don’t wear yourselves out.Turkey’s President Erdogan discouraging visits by diplomats from Finland and Sweden, who want NATO membership; Turkey is a NATO member and is resisting their membership.
- Why It Matters: For a new member to be accepted into NATO, all member states have to agree. Turkey can stand in the way of potential membership by Finland and Sweden.
- Reversing their own decades-long policy to remain "neutral," after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden have appealed to join NATO. Despite previous warnings from Moscow, President Putin now says that Russia "has no problems with those states" joining the NATO alliance.
- According to the Associated Press, Turkey's resistance centers around "inaction" over perceived terrorists: “'Neither country has an open, clear stance against terrorist organizations,' Erdogan said, in an apparent reference to Kurdish militant groups such as the banned Kurdistan Workers´ Party, or PKK."
- Sweden's ambassador to the U.S., however, stated: “We have a very strong anti-terrorist agenda and a lot of, almost, accusations that are coming out … are simply not true.”
- Important Context: Sweden and Finland have accepted immigrants from the Middle East — including Kurds, which Turkey takes issue with; Turkey wants a stronger statement against specific Kurdish groups considered to be terrorists by the Turkish government.
by Jenna Lee,