Erdoğan once again accuses Sweden, Finland of supporting 'terror organizations'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again shut the door to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, accusing them of supporting “terror organizations.”

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again voiced opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, saying that Turkey will not approve of their application to join the Western military alliance.

Erdoğan said that he is engaged in “telephone diplomacy” with western leaders with regards to the issue. “There are requests from Britain and Finland for tomorrow and I will speak with them. Also, I will speak with [NATO Secretary General Jens] Stoltenberg as well. We will continue having those talks not to cut the phone diplomacy between us," he said on May 20 while addressing reporters in Istanbul. 

“But what we are clearly telling is: As we have all the information and documents of those terror organizations, and we are the victim; we will not say for a terror organization to be member of NATO, as we are aware of the sensitivities of NATO against terror and acknowledging the fact that NATO is a security organization,” Erdoğan said.

The Turkish government accuses Sweden and Finland of supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its Syrian branch – the People’s Protection Units or YPG. Ankara also accuses Sweden and Finland of harboring the followers of the Gülen network, which is widely believed to have undertaken the failed coup attempt of July 2016 in Turkey. 

Erdoğan's top aide to Swedish Foreign Minister: 'You are lying'

Meanwhile, a top aide of Erdoğan has slammed Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde in the latest row between the two countries.  

Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun accused Linde of “lying” in a Twitter post, saying: “You look us in the eye and keep lying. You keep supporting the terrorist organization PKK. If Sweden truly considers PKK a terrorist entity, it must do what is necessary.”

Altun's comments came just an hour after Linde took to Twitter to show her reaction to what she said “disinformation about Sweden and PKK.”

“Due to the vastly spread #disinformation about Sweden and PKK, we would like to recall that the Government of Olof Palme was first after Turkey to list PKK as a terrorist organization, already in 1984. EU followed suit 2002, when Anna Lindh was Swedish FM. This position remains unchanged,” she wrote.