Dave DeCamp International nato

Turkey Lifts Objection to Sweden, Finland Joining NATO

Sweden and Finland agreed not to support Kurdish militant groups and to lift export controls on Turkey.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other NATO Ministers of Defense and of Foreign Affairs met together at NATO headquarters to give final political guidance in preparation for the meeting of Allied Heads of State and Government at the upcoming NATO Summit in Lisbon, Portugal in November in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday October 14, 2010. DOD photo by Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison(RELEASED) DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com

Turkey agreed on Tuesday to lift its objection to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, paving the way for the two Nordic countries to begin their application process at this week’s NATO summit in Madrid.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto released a statement that said that he and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Madrid that were facilitated by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The three leaders signed a joint memorandum that said Turkey would support the Nordic nations’ NATO bid at the upcoming summit. Niinisto said the memorandum outlined that Turkey, Finland, and Sweden agreed to “extend their full support against threats to each other’s security.”

Turkey initially objected to Sweden and Finland’s application due to their alleged ties to the PKK, a Kurdish militant group the US, the EU, and Turkey consider a terrorist organization. Erdogan also wanted the Nordic nations to lift export controls on weapons they placed on Turkey in response to a Turkish assault on northeast Syria in 2019.

According to a leaked copy of the memorandum posted to Twitter by a Reuters reporter, Sweden and Finland agreed to lift the arms embargo on Turkey and said they would not provide support to the YPG in Syria, which is part of the Kurdish-led SDF, a group that receives support from the US.

Sweden and Finland also confirmed their belief that the PKK is a terrorist organization and vowed to take steps to “prevent the activities” of the group. They also said they would address Turkey’s requests for the extradition of suspected terrorists.

“Over the past weeks, Turkey has raised its concerns over the threat of terrorism,” Niinisto said in his statement. “Finland has constantly taken these concerns seriously. Finland condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. As a NATO member, Finland will commit fully to the counterterrorism documents and policies of NATO.”

The Nordic nations joining NATO could significantly escalate tensions with Moscow as Finland shares an over 800-mile border with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said that Moscow doesn’t view Sweden and Finland joining NATO as a “direct threat” but warned he will respond to the expansion of the alliance’s military infrastructure.

Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.


  1. Perhaps I am naive, but this seems like blackmail and capitulation . . .

  2. I’ve been trying very hard to get this into the News Cycle and at the NYT, WaPo, et. al. with no effin luck:

    Alex, some folks at the ‘Times’ seem to be blocking this:

    IMHO, “Fight Like Hell” is the ‘call code word’ for the possible involvement of any alt-right coup d’état attempt by portions of the U. S. military.

    While this might well seem hyperbolic, even paranoid, the media apparent ‘messaging’ this week, particularly by former Admiral James Stavridis, former SACEUR NATO, and current and Managing Director of the global investment firm the Carlyle Group’s involvement in the Defense Industry, qua. “Merchants of Death”, seems to be predicating/signalling the terms and conditions of eliminating the weaker of the three current, but conflicted possible Empires.

    Admiral James Stavridis’s near saturation broadcasting of the “seven times greater” troop levels of ships, sailors, and other weapons from the ‘four minute NPA’ radio messaging regrading his position at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations prepare to meet this week in Madrid presents shockingly provocative fodder with respect to being ‘War inducing’.

    Admiral’s Quote: “The War Plans are very specific”

    The full transcript to the Admiral’s broadcast message should be considered akin to Hurst’s message in 1898 to Hearst’s; “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

    But in this case in 2022, Stavridis seems to be saying, “Please remain. You furnish the radio broadcast and I’ll furnish the war.”

  3. As usual, no good guys here. Western Europe had generally been the relatively sane voice of the west in international matters. Not necessarily on the right side, but not psychopathic and totally evil like the U.S. Then the Ukraine war happened and now Europe is back to where it was in WWI, except that it acts more as a U.S. puppet than anything. Turkey has always been evil, a former empire that won’t let that go and oppresses, among other groups, the Kurds. A pox on all of them.

  4. Oh, that Turkey, with exclusive rights to their drones to the UkiNazi ZioLensky regime. Hmm, that great leader: Ethnic CLeansing, Turkey/Nato/EU style,

    But some of the worst consequences of the war outside Ukraine remain beneath the media radar, notably Turkey’s announcement in the last few weeks that it is planning an offensive to seize Kurdish-controlled enclaves in northern Syria. Going by previous Turkish incursions over the last five years this attack will mean the ethnic cleansing of Kurds left with no choice but to flee to other parts of Syria.

    Then, this, 2016:

    As the coup unfolded, Erdoğan was vacationing in a Bodrum resort, on the southwest coast. The Air Force, which seemed to lead the uprising, could have scrambled over there and blown him to bits had they been as seriously opposed to his emasculation of secular democracy as they claimed to be. From Bodrum, his plane flew north to circle around near Marmaris (not Ankara) for hours with its transponders on. From on high, Erdoğan tweeted desperate pleas for the Turkish People to rise up to quash the insurrection, which a lot of them apparently did. While he up there—a sitting duck on a magic carpet—he was even more vulnerable to being picked off by a fighter jet or a missile. At least, jets could have escorted his plane to an airfield and taken him into custody. Why would he take such a chance if he was at all unsure about what was going on? The answer can only be that he knew what was going on because he had planned it.

    Coups are mostly nasty affairs that occasionally can lead to a better future, as a couple of previous ones in Turkey seem to have eventuated, but Reichstag revivals like this one always bode ill. As a result of this inside job of a putsch, we will soon see further purges, more unconstitutional acts, total intolerance of dissent, and accelerated Islamification of public life under the Sultan of Ankara.



  5. Say what you want about Erdogan, he’s a sly one and a hell of a negotiator. He got what he wanted, mission accomplished. But if you think he will go to war with Russia on NATO’s say so, you are very much mistaken.

    If world war does come, Turkey will either stand neutral or side with Russia and China. Believe it because again, despite Erdogan’s many flaws, he is no fool. Nor is he suicidal.

  6. the USA creation NATO, largely funded by US has little relevance today—anglo/eU nations now isolated pariahs….Turkey the only capable military refuses to sanction Russia as do all Asian, African, latin Amerikan Arab Nations, excepting Japan, S Korea…..Sweden, Finland are already de facto US colonies—the EU an amerikan imperialist invention also
    all now plagued w contracting economies, debt hyper inflation while rouble at historic highs vs dollar. Since March 1 the Russian reserve fund has increased by 13 billion euros each month

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