Turkish parliament approves Swedish NATO membership

Published 24 January 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The application has yet to be ratified by President Erdogan.

Turkey has voted to approve Sweden’s application to join the US-led military alliance NATO. The decision came after a lengthy debate and vote in the Turkish parliament on Tuesday.

Almost two years ago, Sweden and Finland jointly applied for NATO membership. Finland became a member, but Turkey and Hungary decided not to accept Sweden as a member state, partly because they believe Sweden supports terrorism due to its links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Syria-based Kurdish militia group YPG.

Since then, both countries have continued to back away, despite calls from the US and others to allow Sweden into the military alliance.

The vote came after a four-hour debate in the Turkish parliament, during which the burning of the Koran was highlighted. Out of 346 votes, 287 were in favor of Sweden’s NATO membership and 55 against, Bloomberg reports. The rest abstained.

For Turkey to accept Sweden, however, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan must formally ratify the application. Even if that happens, Hungary’s approval is still needed. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán invited Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson to a meeting in the country on Tuesday to discuss their “future security and defense cooperation as allies and partners”.

It is unclear whether Kristersson will travel to Hungary to meet with the prime minister.

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