Sweden: Turkey wants things that we cannot give


Turkey has demands that Sweden cannot and does not want to fulfill, the Swedish Prime Minister said on Sunday.

Ankara has blocked Sweden and Finland from joining the NATO alliance since May in an attempt to get them to meet some political demands, sparking a long-running diplomatic row.

“Turkey confirms both that we have done what we said we would do, but they also say they want things that we cannot or do not want to give them,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson was quoted as saying.

“We are convinced that Turkey will make a decision, we just don’t know when”, he said further, adding that “the decision is in Turkey’s camp”.

Stockholm and Helsinki signed an agreement with Turkey in 2022, aimed at overcoming Ankara’s objections to their NATO bids.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously described Finland and Sweden as a “sanctuary” for terrorist groups, while his foreign minister called on the two countries to lift bans on defense exports to Turkey.

Speaking to Euronews in May, Paul Levin of Stockholm University’s Institute of Turkish Studies said that Turkey’s main concern is the presence of PKK activists in Sweden.

In December, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu acknowledged that Stockholm had taken “positive measures” but said that “further important steps” were needed before his country’s objections could be lifted.

His statements came days after the Swedish Supreme Court rejected the extradition of Turkish journalist Bülent Kenes, as requested by the Turkish president.

A former editor of a Turkish newspaper, Kenes is an outspoken critic of Erdogan’s government.

Otherwise, only Turkey and Hungary have not ratified the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO.

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