- Turkey's parliamentary foreign affairs committee delayed a vote concerning Sweden's application to NATO on Thursday, with Chairman Fuat Oktay claiming that lawmakers were in need of being 'fully convinced' to approve the matter.1
- This comes as legislators from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling party submitted a motion for a postponement, requesting further clarification on some issues. Oktay told reporters that the still-unscheduled upcoming session may involve the Swedish ambassador.2
- The bill needs to be approved by a simple majority in the committee before being put to a full parliament vote, which could take weeks. Then, the final step in the ratification process would be for Erdoğan to sign it into law.3
- Sweden applied to NATO in a joint bid with Finland in May 2022, following the outbreak of the Ukraine war, in a move that must be unanimously approved by all preexisting member states. Though Finland acceded in April, Sweden's protocol has yet to be approved by Hungary and Turkey.4
- Erdoğan lifted his objection to Sweden's NATO bid in July after Stockholm pledged deeper cooperation on counterterrorism amid claims that the Nordic country harbors members of groups that threaten Turkish security, particularly the terrorist-designated Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).5
- Though tensions between Turkey and its Western allies have mounted this week as Erdoğan has criticized the backing of Israel's campaign in Gaza against Hamas, the country has sought to secure deals to buy F-16 and Typhoon fighter jets from the US and Germany, respectively.6
- Narrative A, as provided by Daily Sabah. By initiating the parliamentary process to potentially approve Sweden's NATO bid, Erdoğan has simply opened decision-making to the legislative rather than endorsing a rubber-stamp process as many had hoped. Turkey will continue to deliberate on the matter, taking into consideration whether Sweden has reassured Ankara to an acceptable extent and what relationship Turkey wishes to hold with the West.
- Narrative B, as provided by The Local Sweden. Turkey continues to hold out against Sweden's NATO bid in an attempt to apply further pressure on the US to supply the country with F-16 fighter jets, a topic that has not yet even made it to America's Senate. A year and a half after its application, Sweden continues to be unnecessarily frustrated by external and unrelated politics.