Erdogan Says No NATO Membership for Sweden at Vilnius Summit

The Turkish leader wants Sweden to stop anti-Turkey protests

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that Sweden should not expect Ankara’s approval to join NATO at the alliance’s upcoming summit that will be held in Vilnius this July.

Erdogan said the Swedish government must do more to curb anti-Turkish protests. Stockholm’s effort to placate Turkey by passing a new anti-terror law and Ankara’s efforts to target Kurds in Sweden have sparked anti-NATO and anti-Turkish demonstrations in the Nordic nation.

Turkey accuses Sweden of supporting the PKK, a Kurdish militant group Turkey and the US consider a terrorist organization. PKK flags have been spotted at the anti-NATO, anti-Turkey demonstrations in Sweden.

Erdogan said Wednesday that “terrorists” were demonstrating in Sweden while NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg was trying to convince him to approve Stockholm’s membership.

Officials from Sweden, Finland, and NATO were in Ankara on Wednesday to meet with their Turkish counterparts. Erdogan said the message that will be delivered to the delegation is “definitely don’t expect anything different in Vilnius.”

Erdogan’s comments came after Sweden approved the extradition of a 35-year-old Turkish citizen who previously expressed support for the PKK. Ankara has been seeking the extradition of dozens of suspected PKK members from the country.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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