Erdogan to speak to Finland on NATO membership

STORY: Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO on Wednesday (May 18), following Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Erdogan said he had discussed the issue with the Dutch prime minister on Friday (May 20) and would also speak to Britain on Saturday (May 21). He did not specify the people he would speak to in Finland and Britain.

Ankara says Sweden and Finland harbour people linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and followers of Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.

Western leaders have expressed confidence that Ankara's objections will not be a roadblock for the NATO accession process of the Nordic countries without spelling out how Turkey's position could be changed.

Erdogan has previously said that Swedish and Finnish delegations should not bother coming to Ankara to convince it to approve their NATO bids and that "terrorists" would have to be returned to Turkey before approval is given.