Turkey announces that it will finally ratify Finland’s accession into NATO

Turkey announces that it will finally ratify Finland's accession into NATO

Image of President Erdogan and Finland's Sayın Sauli Niinisto. Credit: Twitter@RTErdogan

Finland’s application to join NATO will finally be ratified by Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced today, Friday, March 17, that Ankara will finally ratify Finland’s entry into NATO. This means that the original application by both Finland and Sweden will not be successful. Both Nordic countries applied 10 months ago to join the Alliance.

Erdogan broke the news in a news conference after meeting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Ankara earlier today. Turkey’s backing will leave Sweden to fight for the same decision from Erdogan, who has continually accused Stockholm of being too lenient to groups he considers to be ‘terror organisations’.

The Turkish President tweeted: We were pleased to host President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and his delegation in Ankara. In our meetings with Mr. @Niinisto, we reaffirmed our common will to improve Turkey-Finland relations and discussed the steps we will take in the coming period”.

“The helping hand that Finland extended in the face of the earthquake disaster strengthened our friendship. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Finnish Government and its people once again for their solidarity and assistance. We are ready to diversify our economic and commercial cooperation with Finland, especially in the fields of investments, the defence industry, and tourism”.

“Turkey is a country that has sacrificed thousands of its citizens to terrorism. As everyone knows, we are simultaneously fighting the bloodiest structures in the world, from DAESH to PKK-PYD and FETO. We believe that there is no place for any terrorist organisation in the future of our region”.

“We make it clear at every opportunity and on the ground that we are determined to root out organisations that threaten the survival of our country and the lives of our nation, regardless of their names, claims, or the accounts behind them. We evaluate NATO’s enlargement process within the framework of these realities”.

“Based on the sensitivity shown, the concrete steps taken, and the progress achieved in addressing our country’s legitimate security concerns, we decided to initiate the ratification process of Finland’s NATO Accession Protocol in our Parliament. I hope this decision will be beneficial for our Alliance, especially for our countries”.

“NATO, which will become stronger with Finland’s membership, will thus play a more active role in maintaining global security and stability. I believe that this visit of Mr President will contribute to the strengthening of our bilateral cooperation and the deepening of the friendship between our peoples”.

A statement from Ben Wallace, the British Defence Secretary, read: “Turkey’s decision to ratify Finland’s accession to NATO is welcome news. The UK signed bilateral mutual security agreements with Finland and Sweden last May, emphasising our own unwavering dedication to the security of both countries, during their NATO accession and beyond”.

“I shall be working closely with Turkey to ensure Sweden is also accepted as soon as possible. In the meantime, the UK will stand shoulder to shoulder with Sweden against any Russian intimidation”, he added.

Sweden fell foul of the Turkish government after the burning of a holy Muslim Koran took place in Stockholm earlier this year. Erdogan vowed after that incident that he would never ratify the Swedish application to join NATO.

In order to join NATO, all 30 existing member states must vote unanimously in favour. Only Turkey and Hungary initially opposed the entry of Finland and Sweden. Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party in Budapest stated earlier this month that it would back the accession of both Nordic nations.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com