President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said Turkey did not have a “positive opinion” on Finland and Sweden joining NATO and accused Scandinavian countries of harboring outlawed Kurdish militants, Agence France-Presse reported.
“We do not have a positive opinion. Scandinavian countries are like a guesthouse for terror organizations,” Erdoğan told journalists after Friday prayers in İstanbul.
Erdoğan said Turkey’s former rulers “made a mistake” by giving a green light for Greece’s NATO membership in 1952.
“We, as Turkey, do not want to make a second mistake on this issue,” he said.
The Turkish leader accused Scandinavian countries of sheltering members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).
After its powerful eastern neighbor invaded Ukraine on February 24, Finland’s political and public opinion swung dramatically in favor of membership as a deterrent against Russian aggression.
Finland and Sweden have long cooperated with NATO, and are expected to be able to join the alliance quickly.
NATO member Turkey has supplied Ukraine with combat drones but has shied away from slapping sanctions on Russia alongside Western allies.
But since Ankara enjoys good relations with Kyiv and Moscow, it has been mediating for an end to the conflict and offered to host a leaders’ summit.