Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that any negotiations on the Nordic countries' bid to join NATO would have to address Türkiye's demands first.

Cavusoglu said that Ankara has briefed Stockholm, Helsinki and NATO about the shortcomings.
Cavusoglu said that Ankara has briefed Stockholm, Helsinki and NATO about the shortcomings. (AA)

The documents Sweden and Finland sent to Türkiye regarding their NATO bids do not meet our expectations, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, adding that the country's security concerns need to be addressed.

"Finland and Sweden's responses did not address Türkiye's security concerns", the top Turkish diplomat said on Wednesday at a joint news conference with his Norwegian and Irish counterparts following meetings in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Cavusoglu added that Ankara has briefed Stockholm, Helsinki and NATO about the shortcomings.

He said that any negotiations on the northern European countries' bid to join NATO would have to address Türkiye's demands first.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO on May 18, a decision spurred by Russia's offensive in Ukraine, which began on February 24.

Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to their membership bids, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups such as the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

READ MORE: Türkiye's stance on Nordic NATO bids won't change until action on terror

Nordic restrictions on Türkiye's defence industry

"We are one of the strongest supporters of the open-door policy of NATO," Cavusoglu said, stressing that Ankara was aware of the "legitimate concerns" of both Sweden and Finland that prompted their intentions to join NATO.

On the other hand, the Turkish minister went on to note that it was vital that all three countries put some effort into understanding and supporting each other, underlining that one of the problems was the restrictions that the other two imposed on Türkiye's defence industry.

"These (restrictions) must be lifted as well, this is an expectation of ours." Cavusoglu also noted that these issues needed to be resolved through talks, not sanctions of any sort.

In late May, Türkiye had hosted consultations with Swedish and Finnish delegations on their NATO applications in the capital Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the talks had not been "at the desired level."

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Türkiye, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured. 

FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

The Nordic nations' accession requires the unanimous approval of all 30 NATO member countries.

READ MORE: Sweden looks forward to continuing dialogue with Türkiye over NATO bid: PM

Source: AA