Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his party's members of parliament in Ankara that he expects NATO member countries to “understand” Turkey’s security issues over Finland and Sweden's bids to join the alliance.
“We expect our allies to understand, respect and support our sensitivity. We have a sensitivity to protect our borders against terrorism. None of our allies showed respect to this sensitivity as we expected,” he said.
Erdogan said last week that he does not view the NATO applications of Sweden and Finland “positively” and would not support it if they sanction Turkey.
“NATO's enlargement is meaningful to us only to the extent that our sensitivities are respected. Asking us for support to NATO membership while providing every kind of support to the PKK/YPG terrorist organization amounts to incoherence, to say the least,” Erdogan added.
Erdogan accused the two countries of harboring members of the separatist militant Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and supporters of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of masterminding a 2016 coup attempt, which Gulen denies.
The PKK has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Erdogan also said Sweden did not extradite 30 people whom Turkey sees linked to terrorism.
“You will not hand over terrorists to us, but you will ask us to support you to join NATO. We cannot say 'yes' to making this security organization deprived of security,” he said.
“They wanted to come on Monday. Do not bother, there is no need,” he added, regarding the high-level diplomatic delegation that was expected to come for the talks over the issue.