Following talks in Ankara on Wednesday, Turkish government spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters that his government would not allow Finland and Sweden into the NATO alliance until Turkey’s “concrete” security concerns regarding terrorism and sanctions are met. Kalin added that Ankara will not rush to an agreement before NATO’s next meeting.
Delegations from Sweden and Finland met with their Turkish counterparts in Ankara for five hours of talks following their joint applications to join the NATO military alliance last week. Their accession requires the unanimous consent of all 30 member states, and Turkey has threatened to block the process unless the two countries crack down on groups it considers terrorists.
“Without meeting the security concerns of Turkey, any process about NATO’s expansion cannot continue,” Kalin told a press conference after the talks. “Nato is a security organization,” he declared, adding that this means that the alliance should ensure that “the security concerns of member states are equally and fairly met.”