“Since the PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation in Europe, it’s important that we do our part not to allow any preparations for terrorist activity on Finnish soil,” says Finnish FM Pekka Haavisto.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has said his country can assure Türkiye the PKK terror group’s connections in the country are monitored more closely, state media reported.
“We can certainly give such guarantees to Türkiye. Since the PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation in Europe, it’s important that we do our part not to allow any preparations for terrorist activity on Finnish soil,” he told state broadcaster Yle on Sunday.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
Haavisto said Helsinki and Ankara could resolve issues related to Finland’s NATO application, but predicted that it may take a few weeks.
“A few days ago I said that this would at least be a matter of days. So just to be cautious, one could now say that it will be a matter of weeks. I’m optimistic that the problems will be solved, but it may take some time,” he said.
The remarks come a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistoin in a phone call on Saturday.
He said ignoring terrorist organisations that pose a threat to a NATO ally is not compatible with the “spirit of friendship and alliance.”
Erdogan said it is Türkiye’s “most natural right” to expect respect and support for its legitimate and determined struggle against what remains a clear threat to its national security and people.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO on Wednesday –– a decision spurred by Russia’s ongoing offensive on Ukraine, which began in February.
However, Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to the new membership bids, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.