The Swedish and Finnish plans for NATO membership are still facing resistance from Turkey. Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet reports on the talks that were held in Ankara in the last week of May:
[Turkish President] Erdogan said to journalists after a trip to Azerbajdzjan that “unfortunately the talks that had been held between our delegation and Finland and Sweden have not reached a high enough level.”
The Turkish president does not believe that Sweden and Finland have taken “the necessary steps” to accommodate Turkish demands regarding terrorists living within the borders of the two countries. Sweden, Erdogan explained, defends terrorists “with their own police.”
According to the Hufvudstadsbladet, a Turkish newspaper has named five politicians in Sweden, one of them a member of parliament, as collaborators with terrorist-labeled PKK. Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde countered the accusations in a tweet, referring to the Turkish paper’s allegations as “serious accusations that lack substance.”
When asked for a comment on the Turkish president’s view of the negotiations in Ankara, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson refused to provide any substantive comment:
We continue to have a dialogue with Turkey, we have it together with Finland and I look forward to continued talks.
The Turkish government demands that Sweden stop what it sees as support for the PKK. The government in Ankara, claiming to cite Swedish sources, points to Sweden having supported the PKK with $376 million. The Swedish government has allegedly also provided weapons to the PKK.
Swedish reactions to the Turkish demands vary significantly. A reporter from state-funded television broadcaster SVT noted in astonishment that the Turkish government does not seem to feel any urgency in moving the Swedish NATO application forward.
By contrast, Anna Dahlberg, columnist with the daily Expressen, notes that Sweden the “moral superpower” is now forced to negotiate with “the Devil.” It is strange, she notes, that nobody from the Swedish government was able to predict that Turkey would raise objections to the Swedish NATO application.