Head of Turkish Ministry of Defense Akar: The visit of the Swedish Minister of Defense makes no sense, it has been cancelled
Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced that the visit of his Swedish counterpart, scheduled for January 27, was canceled.
It was assumed that the head of the Swedish Defense Ministry would discuss in Ankara Stockholm’s application for NATO membership, which Turkey had not yet ratified.
“At the stage we have reached, the importance and meaning of Swedish Defense Minister Johnson’s visit to Turkey on January 27 is no longer there. Therefore, we have cancelled the visit,” Haberturk TV quoted Akar as saying.
Last week, Ankara cancelled the visit of Swedish Parliament Speaker Andreas Norlen. This happened after supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, banned in Turkey, held a rally in Stockholm, shouting insults at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ankara’s chief prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case over the incident.
Finland and Sweden decided to join NATO on May 18, 2022 against the background of the events in Ukraine. These applications have already been approved by 28 countries of the alliance, but Hungary and Turkey have not ratified them.
Ankara demands that Stockholm and Helsinki stop supporting the PKK and extradite activists whom Turkey considers to be involved in terrorism. Turkish authorities have repeatedly stated that there will be no progress in admitting the Nordic countries to NATO without fulfilling these promises.