‘Sweden will be shocked’: Turkey may approve Finland’s NATO bid


“Sweden will be shocked”Turkey may approve Finland’s NATO candidacy

Ankara raised for the first time on Sunday the possibility of holding Finland’s candidacy separately from Sweden’s.

The Turkish president warned on Monday that Sweden can no longer count on Ankara’s “support”.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted on Sunday that Turkey may recognize Finland’s NATO candidacy, but not Sweden.

“Sweden will be shocked”

“If necessary, we can give a different message regarding Finland. Sweden will be shocked when we give a different message about Finland,” the Turkish head of state said during a televised meeting with young people in response to a question about the two Nordic countries’ candidacy for NATO.

Ankara for the first time hears Finland’s candidacy is ready to be run separately from Sweden’s. Turkey suspended Sweden and Finland from joining NATO on Tuesday, indefinitely postponing a tripartite meeting originally planned for early February and intended to clear Ankara’s objections to their candidacy.

Video: Erdogan Blocks Finland and Sweden

“They’re making fun of us”

Turkey’s president warned on Monday that Sweden, already accused by Turkey of harboring Kurdish “terrorists”, cannot count on Ankara’s “support” after a far-right activist burned a copy of the Koran in Stockholm. Without mentioning the incident, the Turkish president reiterated his accusations against Sweden over Turkey’s extradition demands. “We told them, ‘If you want to join NATO, you have to send these terrorists back to us’. We gave them a list of 120 people (…) but they laugh at us saying they changed their constitution,” he said

‘deeply disrespectful’

The burning of a Quran by an anti-Islamic right-wing extremist near the Turkish embassy in Sweden last week sparked protests from Ankara and many other capitals in the Muslim world. Ankara had already canceled the announced visit of the Swedish defense minister. Stockholm condemned the “deeply disrespectful” act and expressed its “sympathy” for Muslims, insisting that the Swedish constitution prohibits banning this type of action, without stoking Turkish anger.


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