February, 21, 2024
Time
Turkey Nears Approval for Sweden's NATO Entry

Turkey Nears Approval for Sweden’s NATO Entry

Infostani international: Turkey may approve Sweden’s NATO membership after a year of delays. Despite initial objections, the process faces complexity due to President Erdogan’s new demands, including F-16 fighter jets.


Turkey Parliament Set to Decide on Sweden’s NATO Membership Amid Geopolitical Shifts and Erdogan’s Diplomatic Maneuvers

This week, Turkey’s parliament is expected to resolve more than a year of delays that strained its ties with Western allies and approve Sweden’s membership in NATO. A vote might take place as early as Tuesday, with the possibility of being delayed until Thursday, according to sources. Hungary is now the only remaining holdout in the accession process that Sweden and Finland initiated in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago. Finland joined NATO last April, becoming the 31st member of the US-led defense alliance.

The accession of Sweden and Finland significantly increased NATO’s border length with Russia and bolstered the defenses of three Baltic nations that joined the alliance after the collapse of the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, Sweden and Finland pursued a policy of military non-alignment, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shifted geopolitical calculations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan initially resisted Sweden’s NATO accession, citing concerns about Stockholm’s perceived acceptance of Kurdish groups that Ankara views as “terrorist.” In response, Sweden tightened its anti-terrorism legislation and implemented other security measures requested by Erdogan. The Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee approved Sweden’s bid last month, but Erdogan subsequently made new demands, including a request for the US to deliver a batch of F-16 fighter jets for Turkey’s aging air force.

Turkey Nears Approval for Sweden's NATO Entry
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Erdogan discussed these demands with US President Joe Biden, and US officials argued that Turkey’s request could gain congressional approval if Sweden’s NATO accession proceeds. This position was reiterated by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his recent visit to Istanbul.

Some analysts linked Turkey’s ongoing delays to Erdogan’s dissatisfaction with Washington’s support for Israel’s actions against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. There are reports suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin might make his first wartime visit to Turkey next month.