Turkey could block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO, claims ex-Erdogan aide

15 May 2022, 14:46 | Updated: 15 May 2022, 15:14

'It's not possible for Turkey to support Sweden and Finland to join.'

By James Bickerton

Turkey will block Sweden and Finland from joining the NATO alliance, unless they crackdown on Kurdish militant groups, according to a former adviser to President Recep Erdoğan.

The warning came from Rear Admiral Cihat Yayci, formerly chief of staff of the Turkish Naval Forces Command.

On Sunday Finland formally announced it wants to join the NATO alliance, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sweden is widely expected to follow suit in the coming weeks.

However any new NATO member has to be approved by all current members, and there are growing concerns Turkey could block the Scandanavian nations from joining.

Appearing on Tom Swarbrick's LBC show Rear Admiral Yayci said: "It's not possible for Turkey to support Sweden and Finland joining the pact given that the Nordic countries are home to many terrorist organisations."

He specifically focused on Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist group by the EU and US.

READ MORE: Russia writes chilling messages on bombs set for Mariupol after Eurovision plea for help

Boris' guarantees to Finland and Sweden welcomed

Rear Admiral Yayci argued the PKK maintains a presence in Sweden in particular, and this must end before NATO membership can be approved.

He added: "What needs to be done is very clear.

"They need to stop allowing PKK outlets, organisations, individuals, and other types of presence to exist in those countries."

The PKK has been fighting an insurgency against the Turkish state for more than four decades.

It is demanding autonomy for the Kurdish region of Turkey, with some members supporting full independence.

Asked about Turkish objections, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said he is "confident we will be able to find a common ground".

Earlier this week Boris Johnson travelled to Finland and Sweden to sign new defensive alliances with both countries.

READ MORE: Finland apply to join NATO after Russia boasts nukes 'can hit country in 10 seconds'

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

Lord Harrington said there should be a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes.

Former refugees minister Lord Harrington calls for a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes

Mel Stride has backed the PM

Rishi Sunak has 'absolutely not' betrayed nation over Rwanda plan, insists minister after Braverman's attack on PM

Tom and caller

'Our family is there': Mother shares heartbreaking experience of being a British Jew during Israel-Hamas conflict

The ban will be brought into effect in months

'Children should be in the classroom to learn': Gillian Keegan orders 'blanket ban' of mobile phones in schools

Exclusive
Tributes have been paid to Elianne after she was stabbed to death in Croydon

Fellow pupil of schoolgirl stabbed to death in Croydon describes heartbreaking moment students were told of her killing

Scotland's first safe drug consumption space set to be openned

'Isn't this just decriminalising heroin?': Tom Swarbrick questions Labour MSP over first safe drug consumption room

The education secretary discusses educational reforms with Tom Swarbrick

Shadow education secretary says 'Building Schools for the Future Programme' would have prevented Raac crisis

Tom Swabrick

'Is it not completely mental?': Tom Swarbrick astonished as schools shut due to crumble-risk concrete before new term

Exam results

Equation sheets given to GCSE cohort in attempt lessen reduced grade inflation blow, schools minister says

Crime commentator on Adam Provan

Internal review of rapist ex-Met officer is the equivalent of 'marking your own homework', says crime commentator

Education Secretary discuss new Eton free schools on LBC

‘Bailed out by Eton’: Education Secretary discusses new free schools with Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick

Exclusive
Lord Edward Garnier has called for a public inquiry into Andrew Malkinson's case

Top lawyer blasts Andrew Malkinson rape case as the 'worst miscarriage of justice of the 21st century'

Suella Barge

Suella Braverman can't be blamed for housing migrants on barge with Legionella, ConservativeHome editor says

Tom Swarbrick on mortgages

It would be 'manifestly unfair' to use taxpayers' money to subsidise mortgages, Tom Swarbrick says

Tom Swarbrick

'It's a case of Ulez you lose', Tom Swarbrick tells Tory chairman as Conservatives retain Uxbridge seat