The Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs commission will debate a bill approving Sweden’s NATO membership on Thursday, according to the official agenda of the commission.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan submitted the bill to parliament for ratification three weeks ago, in a move welcomed by NATO and Stockholm. Turkey had initially raised objections due to what it said was Sweden’s harboring of groups it deems terrorists.
The bill must be approved by parliament’s foreign affairs commission before a vote by the full general assembly. Erdogan would then sign it into law.
While saying Ankara expected more from Sweden in combating Kurdish militants, Erdogan said this month that he would try to facilitate the ratification as much as possible.
NATO foreign ministers will meet in Brussels on November 28-29.
Long-neutral Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO last year to bolster their security after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Finland’s membership was sealed in April, but Sweden’s bid has been held up by Turkey and Hungary.
“That is welcome information,” Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said in a text to Reuters. Sweden looks forward to being a member of NATO.”
Hungary is now the alliance’s only member where parliamentary ratification hasn’t begun.
Turkey’s nod would still require an approval from the entire assembly, where Erdogan’s ruling AK Party and its allies hold a majority of seats and the president has indicated he is now in favor.
Erdogan flipped-flopped several times on the issue of Swedish membership, and at least one expert told PA Turkey that the genuine outrage in the country across the political spectrum about civilian casualties in Gaza also raised the fury felt towards US, considered the mentor of Israel. “5 months before local elections, it is not easy for Erdogan to have the accession legislation ratified, because it could be held against him by smaller Islamist rivals”.
Pressure from US transmitted to Erdogan during the visit of Secretary of state Anthony Blinken may have caused Erdogan to change his mind.
Assuming the Grand Assembly votes in favor, it will be Biden’s turn to demonstrate his goodwill towards Ankara by persuading four Congressional committee heads to advance the resolution approving Turkey’s $20 bn F-16 order.
While Erdogan’s change-of-heart is welcome, he creates new troubles by the western Axis each day. He accused Israel of fascism on Friday, which rattled feathers in Berlin at the eve of state visit by the former. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Tuesday that Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s accusation of fascism against Israel was “absurd,” days before the German leader is due to host the Turkish president for talks in Berlin.
Israel “is a democracy” and “a country that is bound to human rights and international law and acts accordingly. Therefore, the accusations against Israel are absurd,” Scholz told a press conference.
Various press sources
Follow our English language YouTube videos @ REAL TURKEY: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKpFJB4GFiNkhmpVZQ_d9Rg
And content at Twitter: @AtillaEng
Facebook: Real Turkey Channel: https://www.facebook.com/realturkeychannel/