Finland has suggested it could buy Turkish drones, in a move that is seen as its effort to persuade Ankara to back its NATO application.
Along with Sweden, Finland applied to join NATO in May in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but they have faced resistance from Turkey. Without the support of all NATO members, the two Nordic countries cannot join the military alliance.
“There is some weapon technology from Turkey that could be of interest to Finland. Everyone has followed these drones and other systems,” Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told a press conference, cited by the Financial Times. “But I don’t want to rush ahead of events. Let’s look at the state of current negotiations first,” Haavisto noted.
He said that Finland and Turkey could do arms deals with each other if both were members of the western alliance.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is angered by Finland’s and Sweden’s willingness to host Kurdish militants. He described Sweden as a "hatchery" for terrorist organizations.
"Neither of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organization. How can we trust them?" Erdogan said.
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) are followers of Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt. Three years later, both Nordic nations slapped an arms embargo on Ankara after its incursion into Syria. Turkey’s intention was to “clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates of the YPG/PKK terrorist group.”
Haavisto is said to have probably referred to Bayraktar TB2 combat drone, which has proven effective in recent years in conflicts in Syria, Libya and Karabakh. It has also been used by the Ukrainian forces against Russia.