Skip to content

Finland, Sweden should stop "wasting Nato's time", Turkish politician tells Swedish newspaper

An advisor to Turkey's President told Dagens Nyheter that Turkish demands in relation to Finland and Sweden joining Nato remain unchanged.

Turkey has issued a list of demands that it says must be met before Finland and Sweden can begin accession talks to join Nato. Image: Stephanie Lecocq / EPA

Turkey's demands regarding Finland and Sweden joining Nato remain unchanged and there is nothing to negotiate, an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter in an email interview (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

"It is not right that Finland and Sweden waste Nato's time at this critical moment," Fahrettin Altun wrote in a reply to the newspaper's questions.

Altun, who is head of media and communications for the Turkish president, added that Turkey expects more from Finland and Sweden than just words. Turkey has blocked accession talks between the alliance and the two Nordic nations unless a list of demands are met.

The demands include the lifting of restrictions on arms exports and the extradition of members of certain Kurdish organisations that are opposed to Erdogan's government.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of May, Erdogan re-stated his belief (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that Finland and Sweden support terrorist organisations.

"We have told that these countries have to choose between providing practical and political support to terrorist organizations and expecting Türkiye’s consent to their NATO membership, and they have to show this with explicit signs," Erdogan said.

Jussi Halla-aho (Finns), chair of the Finnish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, told Yle recently that Finland cannot be flexible on matters related to extradition while Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) said Finland considers arms exports on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey has continually stated that its demands are reasonable, and it expects Finland and Sweden to agree to them. Ibrahim Kalin, another Erdogan advisor, told Turkish state media that Turkey does not consider the Nato summit in Madrid at the end of June to be a "deadline" for the demands to be met.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has indicated that he is working to resolve the stalemate. Stoltenberg met with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) in Washington DC on Friday and also recently spoke by telephone with President Erdogan.

In a tweet, Stoltenberg said that he and Marin discussed the need to address Turkey's concerns as well as the progress of the Nato applications submitted by Finland and Sweden.

Stoltenberg described his conversation with Erdogan as "constructive", but he did not reveal the content of the discussion.

Delegates from Finland, Sweden and Turkey are scheduled to meet in Brussels next week to discuss the situation.