Sweden, Finland 'openly supporting, engaging with' PKK/YPG, which has been 'attacking Türkiye, killing Turkish troops and people,' says Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Finland and Sweden should stop supporting the PKK/YPG terrorist organisation, Türkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said as the two Scandinavian countries mull entering NATO.
In a doorstep statement on Saturday ahead of an informal NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Berlin, Cavusoglu said Türkiye has always backed NATO's open-door policy.
However, he said Sweden and Finland were "openly supporting and are engaging with PKK/YPG terrorist organisation" which has been "attacking Türkiye and killing Turkish troops and people."
"Therefore, it is unacceptable and outrageous that our friends and allies are supporting this terrorist organisation. And because of our fight against this terrorist organisation, there have been export restrictions on the defence industry products that we are importing from allies and some countries that are planning to be a member of NATO," he said.
"And that's why the big majority of the Turkish people are against the membership of those countries who are supporting the PKK/YPG terrorist organisation and they're asking us to block this membership. But, these are the issues that we need to talk about with our NATO allies, as well as these countries," he added.
Finland hopeful for a solution
Sweden and Finland are gearing up to apply for membership in the transatlantic military alliance in response to what they see as a fundamentally altered security situation due to Russia's incursion into Ukraine.
"I am sure we will find a solution," Finland's Pekka Haavesto told reporters as he arrived in the German capital, adding he had spoken to his "good colleague" Cavusoglu by phone on Friday.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has promised both Nordic countries a warm welcome and a swift accession procedure but under NATO rules, any decision on enlargement must be made “by unanimous agreement,” effectively giving Türkiye the power to veto any new members.
Saturday's NATO meeting will assess the military situation on the ground and their aid to the Ukraine military, and will discuss a first draft of NATO's new strategic concept, its basic military doctrine, which is set to be agreed upon at a leaders summit in Madrid at the end of June.