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Erdoğan holds 'extensive talks' with Dutch premier on Sweden, Finland's NATO application

"Most of the EU member countries currently allow PKK/YPG terrorist organization to make speeches in their own parliaments, while some supply them with weapons and ammunition," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters on Friday. "We cannot say 'yes' to the entry of these terrorist organizations into NATO, which is a security organization," he added.

Anadolu Agency TURKEY
Published May 20,2022
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said he had an "extensive talk" with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Sweden and Finland's NATO membership applications.

The talks will be followed by phone calls with officials from London and Helsinki, as well as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Saturday, Erdoğan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

The two Nordic countries formally applied to join NATO on Wednesday, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine, which began in February. But Turkey, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

"Most of the EU member countries currently allow PKK/YPG terrorist organization to make speeches in their own parliaments, while some supply them with weapons and ammunition," Erdoğan said.

"We cannot say 'yes' to the entry of these terrorist organizations into NATO, which is a security organization," he added.

Erdoğan said the terrorist organizations are allowed to carry out all kinds of demonstrations in many European countries, including Germany, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands and France.

He accused these countries of giving guarantees to the terrorist groups and rejecting Turkey's demand for the terrorists to be extradited.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK-listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU-has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is PKK's Syrian offshoot.

COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO TURKEY


Meanwhile, Erdoğan said he will discuss bilateral ties and regional issues, including Russia's war on Ukraine, with his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque at the Dolmabahçe Palace.

The fight against terrorism and drug trafficking will also be discussed during the meeting, the Turkish leader said.

The two leaders are expected to hold a joint press conference following the one-on-one meeting.