Turkey has demanded NATO support if not join its war against Kurds in Iraq and Syria (and in Turkey itself) for years. The Ankara regime makes much of the fact that it is the only NATO member state which borders Iraq, Iran and Syria as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in the South Caucasus, in return for which it has exacted numerous concessions from the military bloc including the activation of NATO’s Article Four and deployment of anti-missile batteries four times.
May 20, 2022
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday that he is engaged in “telephone diplomacy” with foreign counterparts over Sweden and Finland’s bids to join NATO.
He reiterated that Turkey is adamant that it will not approve the candidacy of countries accused by Ankara of supporting “terror organizations.”
Erdoğan has placed an obstacle to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance. He accuses Stockholm, and to a lesser extent Helsinki, of supporting the PKK and other groups that Ankara views as terrorists and a threat to national security.
Turkey, which has the second-largest army in NATO, also accuses the two Nordic countries of imposing restrictions on exports of defense industry equipment to Turkey and of failing to extradite suspects wanted by Turkish authorities.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join the military alliance this week. All 30 NATO members need to approve the entry of new members.