Türkiye's President Erdogan says turning a blind eye to terror organisations posing a threat to a NATO ally was "incompatible with the spirit of friendship and alliance".
Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Swedish and Finnish leaders in separate phone calls to abandon financial and political support for terrorist groups threatening Ankara's national security.
Erdogan told Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson that "Sweden's political, financial and weapon support to terrorist organisations must end," the Turkish presidency said in a statement on Saturday.
Türkiye, a longstanding NATO member, has voiced objections to Finland and Sweden’s membership bids, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terror groups.
These groups include the PKK – a designated terrorist organisation in the US, Türkiye and the EU – its Syrian wing YPG, and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye.
Türkiye expects Sweden to "take concrete and serious steps" that show it shares Ankara's concerns over the PKK/YPG, Erdogan told the Swedish premier, according to the presidency.
Erdogan also told Andersson to "lift restrictions imposed on Türkiye in the defence industry" in 2019.
In another phone call with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Erdogan said turning a blind eye to terror organisations posing a threat to a NATO ally was "incompatible with the spirit of friendship and alliance."
Erdogan also said it was Türkiye's most natural right to expect respect and support for its "legitimate and determined struggle against a clear threat to its national security and people", the presidency said.
Erdogan also talked to NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, who said Ankara's security concerns must be addressed.
Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO this week, following Russia's February 24 incursion in Ukraine.
Western leaders have expressed confidence that Ankara's concerns would be addressed.