Turkey initially blocked the start of NATO accession talks with Finland and Sweden. As the German Press Agency learned from alliance circles, it was not possible on Wednesday morning in the NATO Council, as originally planned, to make the decision necessary to start the admission process.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had previously made approval of Sweden and Finland joining NATO dependent on approaching his country on security issues. For Turkey, the NATO expansion goes hand in hand with the respect shown to its sensitivities, Erdogan said on Wednesday in a speech to his conservative Islamic ruling party, the AKP, in Ankara.

Sweden and Finland wanted to continue supporting “terrorist organizations”, but at the same time Turkey’s approval for NATO membership, Erdogan criticized. “That’s a contradiction, to say the least.”

Erdogan accused Sweden of refusing to extradite 30 “terrorists”. “NATO is a security association, a security organization. In this respect, we cannot say yes to making this security body unsafe,” said Erdogan.