Erdogan warns Turkey may still block Swedish Nato bid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday told Sweden and Finland that he could still block their drives to join Nato if they fail to implement a new accession deal with Ankara.

Erdogan warns Turkey may still block Swedish Nato bid
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses media representatives during an impromptu press conference at the end of the Nato summit. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

Erdogan issued his blunt warning at the end of a Nato summit at which the US-led alliance formally invited the Nordic countries to join the 30-nation bloc.

The two nations dropped their history of military non-alignment and announced plans to join Nato in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Their bids were headed for swift approval until Erdogan voiced concerns in May.

He accused the two of providing a haven for outlawed Kurdish militants and promoting “terrorism”.

Erdogan also demanded they lift arms embargoes imposed in response to Turkey’s 2019 military incursion into Syria.

A 10-point memorandum signed by the three sides on the sidelines of the NATO summit on Tuesday appeared to address many of Erdogan’s concerns. Erdogan lifted his objections and then held a warm meeting with US President Joe Biden that was followed by a promise of new warplane sales to Turkey.

Yet Erdogan told reporters at an impromptu press conference held as the summit ended that the memorandum did not mean Turkey would automatically approve the two countries’ membership. New countries’ applications must be approved by all members and ratified by their respective parliaments.

Erdogan warned Sweden and Finland’s future behaviour would decide whether he forwarded their application to the Turkish parliament.

“If they fulfil their duties, we will send it to the parliament. If they are not fulfilled, it is out of the question,” he said.

A senior Turkish diplomat in Washington said the ratification process could come at the very earliest in late September and may wait until 2023, with parliament going into recess from Friday.

Member comments

  1. Sweden is making a fool of itself with this NATO membership scandal . You have amateurs running the Swedish Government . Turkey has told Sweden to prostrate itself and is so doing the Turks see weakness they know the Prime Minister has sold her country’s soul to the Biden Crime Family so they will humiliate the Swedes and have a laugh with their friend Putin until the final days of membership process when they get what they want out of the lacklustre Swedes who have no idea of the Geopolitical Animal that they have taken on . Amateurs nothing but dangerous Amateurs .

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Turkey forms ‘permanent committee’ to assess Swedish Nato deal

Turkey on Thursday said a new "permanent committee" would meet Finnish and Swedish officials in August to assess if the two nations are complying with Ankara's conditions to ratify their Nato membership bids.

Turkey forms 'permanent committee' to assess Swedish Nato deal

Finland and Sweden dropped their history of military non-alignment and announced plans to join Nato after Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of
February. All 30 Nato members must ratify the accession.

Nato member Turkey has demanded the extradition of dozens of suspected “terrorists” from both countries under an accession deal the three signed last month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to “freeze” the process over Sweden and Finland’s failure to extradite the suspects.

He accuses them of providing a haven for outlawed Kurdish militants. “If these countries are not implementing the points included in the
memorandum that we signed, we will not ratify the accession protocol,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reaffirmed in a televised interview.

He said the committee would meet in August but provided no details.Turkey’s parliament has broken for its summer recess and will not be able
to hold a ratification vote before October. Some Turkish officials have warned that the process may drag out until next year.