Turkey’s Erdoğan Threatens To Veto NATO Expansion if Sweden, Finland Do Not Extradite ‘Terrorists’
Turkey will veto Sweden’s application for NATO membership if Stockholm does not extradite “terrorists” wanted by Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday. “Supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Syria’s Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) terrorist organizations and asking us for support for NATO membership is, to say the least, inconsistent. We asked Sweden to return 30 terrorists, but they refused to do so,” Erdoğan said in an address to lawmakers from his Justice and Development Party. “We cannot say yes to making this security organization deprived of security,” the president said. Erdoğan also said delegations from Sweden and Finland should not bother coming to Ankara to try to convince him to approve their NATO bids. Finland and Sweden submitted formal applications for membership in the alliance to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday. Helsinki and Stockholm have reportedly rejected or dismissed Ankara’s request for the extradition of “terrorists,” and Turkey has accused both Nordic nations of supporting “terrorist organizations,” referring to the PKK and YPG.