After Wednesday’s talks with Finnish and Swedish officials, a senior Turkish official stated that Turkey would not accept the Nordic countries joining NATO unless Ankara takes specific steps to address its objections.

Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey’s security concerns must be addressed with concrete steps within a time frame. The conference lasted approximately five hours.

Kalin is the spokesperson for Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdan, and a senior presidential adviser.

Last week, Sweden and Finland submitted written applications to NATO. This is a significant geopolitical ramification of Russia’s war on Ukraine. It could change Europe’s security map.

Turkey stated that it opposed the countries’ participation in the Western military alliance. It cited grievances over Sweden’s and, to a lesser degree, Finland’s, perceived support for the Kurdistan Workers Party (or PKK) and other entities Turkey considers security threats.

Many of Turkey’s allies have listed the PKK as a terrorist organization. The PKK has waged a long-running insurgency against Turkey for decades, a conflict that has claimed the lives of many thousands.

The Turkish government accuses Sweden and Finland of placing restrictions on Turkey’s arms exports and refusing extradition for suspected terrorists.

Turkey’s objections have hampered Stockholm and Helsinki’s chances of joining NATO soon after Russia invades Ukraine. They also put at risk the credibility of the trans-Atlantic alliance. All 30 NATO member countries must agree to admit new members.

The Finnish and Swedish delegations met Kalin, as well as the Turkish Deputy Foreign Ministry Sedat Onal. According to Turkish officials, Oscar Stenstrom led the Swedish delegation. Jukka Salovaara was the undersecretary of foreign ministry and headed the Finnish delegation.

Kalin stated that Turkey’s proposal of lifting arms export restrictions was received with a positive attitude by the Swedish-Finnish delegations.

He said that the talks would continue after the Nordic governments have responded to Turkey’s demands.

Kalin stated that Turkey expects 28 “terrorism suspects” from Sweden to be extradited and 12 from Finland. He also said there was no legal or judicial reason not to exonerate them. Turkish state media previously stated that Turkey had demanded the extradition 33 suspects from these two countries.

After meeting with Charles Michel, President of the European Council in Stockholm, Magdalena Andersson, Prime Minister of Sweden, stated that her country wants to clarify claims made during talks with Turkey.

Andersson stated that they do not send money or weapons for terrorist organizations.

Andersson stated that it was important to “enhance our security” during a news conference Wednesday with the Estonian prime Minister.

She stated that Sweden and Turkey have “a constructive dialog” and that Stockholm is “eager to resolve issues, misunderstandings, and questions.”