Erdogan: Sweden a cradle of terrorism

It is the American public service, PBS, that interviewed Erdogan, who is currently in the UN General Assembly in New York.

Erdogan is asked if Sweden and Finland and Turkey have come closer to an agreement, and if Turkey is prepared to permanently block Sweden’s and Finland’s entry into NATO, if an agreement is not reached.

“A cradle for terrorism”

The Turkish president does not answer the questions. Instead, he repeats the criticism of Sweden.

– Sweden has been a cradle for terrorism. And the terrorists have infiltrated all the way into their parliament, says Erdogan.

He continues to criticize Sweden for “allowing terrorists to demonstrate in Stockholm”.

– In Finland, on the other hand, they are not like in Sweden. They are a bit calmer and they have more control over the development. But Sweden is not like that. They always use certain reasons. They always use some excuses. They always talk about the constitution. And as the governing principle of the constitution, they value freedom of speech, says Erdogan and continues:

– And in return I say that terrorism has nothing to do with freedom of expression. And the Turkish Parliament is the final decision maker.

Clear signs from other countries

At the same time, Sweden’s and Finland’s entry into the military alliance is steadily gaining approval from other NATO countries. After the go-ahead from Portugal and Greece last week, Spain now faces a vote in the upper house on Tuesday, followed by Slovakia, where parliament will consider the issue in a week’s time.

After that, all that remains is to get approval from Hungary and Turkey in particular. Both countries with which Sweden has had rather strained relations in recent years.

However, Hungary’s Minister of Justice Judit Varga promises that a Hungarian ratification will not be a problem, even if no final date for the hearing has been set.

– It is on the parliament’s agenda. It’s just a matter of timing. But trust me: Hungary is there and fully supports an entry, says Varga on his way to an EU meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.

Approval is required from all of NATO’s 30 member states before Sweden and Finland can be admitted.

Guide: How NATO works – in 5 points:

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What kind of protection do you get? What obligations do you have? And who really decides? – This is what it means to be a member of NATO. Photo: TT

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