President Zelensky said that more than 1,000 educational institutions have been destroyed by the Russian military since the beginning of the war.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan holds a news conference during the NATO summit at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on June 14, 2021.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan holds a news conference during the NATO summit at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 14, 2021. Yves Herman/Pool/Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held separate phone calls on Saturday with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg regarding the NATO membership applications. Nordic country.

Erdoğan has stated several times in recent days that Turkey will not support Finland and Sweden joining NATO and accuse them “like a motel for terrorist organizations.” Erdoğan claimed the two countries were harboring members of the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party, also known as the PKK.

Finland and Sweden officially applied to join NATO last Wednesday. The decision represents a setback for Moscow, as the war in Ukraine provoked the kind of alliance expansion that it invaded Ukraine to prevent. Finland’s accession means hundreds of miles more of NATO’s direct border with Russia.

In a phone call with Andersson, Erdoğan said that “Turkey has long emphasized that it is uncomfortable with Sweden’s contacts with individuals and so-called organizations under the control of a terrorist organization.” The PKK/YPG/PYD and Sweden’s politics, finance and arms support for terrorist organizations must cease,” according to the Turkish President’s statement.

The YPG is a Syrian Kurdish group in northern Syria supported by many Western countries. The YPG is an ally in the fight against ISIS, but Turkey considers it an extension of the PKK, which is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union.

Andersson said she appreciated the conversation with the President of Turkey today.

“We look forward to strengthening our bilateral relations, including on peace, security and the fight against terrorism,” according to the Prime Minister’s Twitter account.

Erdoğan told Niinistö by phone that “understanding that ignoring terrorist organizations pose a threat to an ally in NATO is incompatible with the spirit of friendship and alliance”, in the words of the Turkish president. Ky.

Niinistö also wrote on his Twitter account about “open and direct” conversation to Erdogan, saying:

“I have stated that as NATO Allies, Finland and Turkey will be committed to each other’s security and that our relationship will therefore grow stronger. terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Close dialogue continues.”

Mr. Erdoğan also told Stoltenberg by phone that “unless Sweden and Finland make it clear that they will stand in solidarity with Turkey on fundamental issues, especially in the fight against terrorism, then Turkey will not stand in solidarity with Turkey.” Turkey will not approach NATO membership actively,” the president said.

Stoltenberg said on his Twitter account that “we agree that the security concerns of all Allies must be taken into account and that negotiations should continue to find a solution.”

Legislatures of all 30 current members union must approve new applicants.

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