Erdogan says Turkey will not make same mistake twice

TEHRAN, May 18 (MNA) – Referring to the two Nordic countries' bid to join NATO, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country will not make the same mistake twice.

Erdogan has called on NATO allies to "respect" his country's concerns over the membership of Finland and Sweden in the alliance.

Regarding the two Nordic countries' bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, he said it was "controversial for countries to support terrorism and expect our approval."

Sweden should not expect Turkey to approve its NATO bid without returning "terrorists", the president added, speaking at the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting in Ankara, Sputnik reported. 

NATO is a security formation, a security organization, so we cannot say "yes" to depriving this security organization of security, underscored Erdogan.

According to him, the visit of the delegations of Finland and Sweden to Turkey, scheduled for Monday to discuss NATO membership, is pointless.

"I have already said that they should not bother themselves. There is no need for this. We will not make the same mistake twice," said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

During a briefing on 16 May, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey cannot say "yes" to Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO, adding that it is "impossible," as otherwise, the alliance will become "a place where there will be many representatives of terrorists. We cannot say yes, no offence."

According to Ankara, Sweden and Finland have so far rejected requests from Turkey to extradite a total of 33 suspects allegedly linked to the PKK and the Gulen movement, which, Erdogan's government believes, was behind the failed coup attempt in 2016.

Earlier, both Stockholm and Helsinki officially announced their intention to apply for NATO membership following the launch of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine. In January, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Finland and Sweden, if they applied for membership, will be able to quickly join the alliance.

ZZ/PR

News Code 186948

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