Turkey says talks on Finland, Sweden’s NATO bids ongoing, but summit not a deadline

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Turkey's discussions about Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership will continue but the summit in Madrid next week is not a deadline for any decision, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Monday.

“It is unacceptable that terrorist organizations are engaged in activities in the heart of Europe as if they are capturing these countries. I hope they see that terrorist acts have nothing to do with freedom of expression,” Kalin said according to state broadcaster TRT Haber.

He added that Turkey expects Sweden to take immediate steps regarding the Kurdistan Workers Party's (PKK) activities.

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Sweden and Finland are seeking to enhance their security through NATO membership, ending decades of military nonalignment in an historic move driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Turkey declared in May it had objections to the two countries joining NATO, accusing them of supporting Kurdish militants, namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whom Ankara considers to be a terrorist organization, and failing to extradite dozens of suspected “terrorists,” specifically the followers of Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Turkey, Finland and Sweden held “constructive” talks on Monday.

“We will continue our talks on Finland and Sweden's applications for NATO membership, and I look forward to finding a way forward as soon as possible,” Stoltenberg said after officials met at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

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