Skip to content

Turkey lists demands before beginning Finland, Sweden accession talks

Experts believe that after obtaining some or all of the concessions sought, Turkey will stand down in time for Sweden and Finland's membership bid to move forward.

Ambassador Klaus Korhonen presenting Finland's Nato application to Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, while Swedish Ambassador Axel Wernhoff waits for his turn. Image: Heta Hassinen / Lehtikuva

Turkey has drawn up a list of demands that must be met before it will begin talks over Finland and Sweden joining the Nato alliance, the New York Times has reported.

Turkey blocked Nato's decision to process the accession requests by Finland and Sweden on Wednesday, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accusing the two Nordic nations of "protecting terrorists". Erdoğan said his country is especially concerned about links to the militant political group the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The list of demands makes reference to members of the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG, which Turkey has designated as terrorist organisations, citing their alleged protection in Finland and Sweden.

Additionally, the list includes concessions Turkey is seeking from the US on a F-16 fighter jet deal, which the former has been trying to establish for months.

In an address to his MPs on Wednesday, Erdoğan criticized Western support for Kurdish groups, with analysts saying the Turkish president is raising his demands now, as he believes Turkey has the leverage to extract concessions.

Foreign policy specialists further predict that after obtaining some or all of the concessions sought, Turkey will stand down in time for Sweden and Finland's membership bid to move forward.

An application to join by either Finland or Sweden would need to be ratified by all 30 member states. Turkey has been a member of Nato since 1952.