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APN podcast: What's Turkey's beef about Finland joining Nato?

Can Turkey really block Finland's Nato bid and what secrets lurk in some of Helsinki’s famed bunkers?

Photo of traffic on city street in Turkey, featuring the All Points North podcast logo. Image: Jessica Stolzman / Yle

On Wednesday, Finland and Sweden formally handed in their respective applications to join Nato. Not long after that, it became clear that one current member of the alliance, Turkey, had blocked the initial processing of their applications.

The development is raising doubts that Nato will be able to approve the first stage of the application process within one or two weeks, as the alliance had suggested.

You can listen to the show using the embedded player here, on Yle Areena, Spotify (siirryt toiseen palveluun), Apple Podcasts (siirryt toiseen palveluun), or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Veteran Yle journalist Tom Kankkonen told the All Points North podcast that one of Turkey's concerns is linked to Syrian Kurds now living in Sweden and Finland.

"They're terribly upset about the Syrian Kurds who have been helping Western countries fight [Islamic State terrorist group ] Isis. And [the Kurds] are getting support from the Americans and from other countries and Turkey views them as terrorists, as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK. And they're not entirely wrong in that matter. Actually, they're pretty close to the truth in a way, although the Syrian Kurds have officially stayed away from the internal strife in Turkey."

Turkey is also seeking concessions surrounding its acquisition of weapons systems, Kankkonen explained.

Listen to the podcast to hear more.

Helsinki mum on condition of its bunkers

The show also explores inconsistencies between international coverage on Helsinki's network of bomb-proof bunkers and recent Yle reporting on their condition. The civil shelters are intended to protect the population from military attack, collapsing buildings, ionising radiation and toxic substances.

However, despite flattering reports from US news outlets, including CNBC (siirryt toiseen palveluun) and CNN, not all of Helsinki's shelters are up to snuff, according to a report from Yle's Swedish-language unit.

Yle Journalist Lukas Rusk explained that the city is not being transparent about which of the city's shelters have fallen into disrepair.

"The shelters are in bad shape—some of them—it's unclear which ones because this information is redacted, but many of them have problems with ventilation, which means they won’t protect from radioactive fallout, for example," Rusk told APN.

The podcast also learns about preparedness and hears about some surprising necessities that experts say everyone should have at home.

Join the discussion

This week's show was presented by Mark B. Odom and Zena Iovino. The sound engineer was Joonatan Kotila.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or at and

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