Turkey ratifies Sweden’s NATO entry after months of blockade

Istanbul, Turkey, Jan 23 (EFE).- The Turkish parliament on Tuesday approved Sweden’s entry into NATO in a general vote, three months after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan submitted the bill to parliament.

The Turkish parliament was slow to approve Sweden’s membership, accusing the Nordic country of being too tolerant of groups Turkey considers a security threat, such as Kurdish militants.

Turkey was also angered by a series of demonstrations in Sweden by supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

In Tuesday’s session, 287 deputies voted in favor, 55 against, and four abstained, while the rest of the 600-member chamber did not take part in the vote.

During the debate AKP, the Islamist party that has governed Turkey since 2002, and the CHP, the main opposition party, spoke in favor.

Meanwhile, some smaller formations, such as the Islamist Saadet and the leftist TIP in the opposition, as well as the fundamentalist Hüda-Par allied with the AKP, expressed their opposition to NATO as a whole.

In recent months, President Erdoğan has linked NATO’s approval to a deal with the US to sell Turkey F-16 fighter-bombers, a deal that has been in the works for years but has been blocked by the US Congress.

After the Turkish approval, Sweden only requires Hungary’s consent. In 2023, Budapest indicated that it would not oppose Sweden’s accession if Turkey agreed.

On Tuesday, Hungarian President Viktor Orbán invited his Swedish counterpart, Ulf Kristersson, to discuss the issue of ratifying Sweden’s accession to NATO. EFE


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