Turkey greenlights Sweden’s NATO membership, citing anti-militant stance as crucial factor

The move follows Turkey’s parliamentary endorsement of Sweden’s NATO accession in a vote held on Tuesday, a decision that the ruling party attributed to Sweden’s firm stance against Kurdish militants.

Turkey on Thursday officially published a measure approving the membership of Sweden in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in an official gazette, thereby finalizing the ratification process and bringing the earlier nonaligned Scandinavian country a significant step closer to joining the military alliance.

The move follows Turkey’s parliamentary endorsement of Sweden’s NATO accession in a vote held on Tuesday, a decision that the ruling party attributed to Sweden’s firm stance against Kurdish militants.

The official publication in the Turkish gazette marks a formal confirmation of Turkey’s support for Sweden’s NATO membership, signalling a crucial moment in diplomatic relations between the two countries and carrying broader implications for NATO’s strategic footprint.

With this approval, Hungary is now the only NATO ally yet to ratify Sweden’s accession. The NATO membership process requires unanimous consent from all member states, making each endorsement a pivotal step toward the integration of a new member into the alliance.

The ruling party in Turkey emphasized Sweden’s robust position against Kurdish militants as a key factor in gaining approval. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey earlier linked the ratification to the desire of Turkey to buy fighter jets from the United States. The membership of Sweden was delayed by the NATO – member Turkey for over a year, accusing the country of being more lenient towards the groups that are regarded as security threats by Ankara. It tried to find concessions from Stockholm that included moves to counter militants.

With a series of demonstrations by the supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK in Sweden and also Koran-burning protests that infuriated the Muslim countries, Turkey had been exasperated.

The approval of Sweden’s NATO membership is likely to have ripple effects across the geopolitical landscape. The development also underscores the complex web of alliances and geopolitical considerations within NATO. As Sweden progresses toward NATO integration and Hungary deliberates its stance, the international community watches closely, recognizing the geopolitical implications and strategic significance of these developments in shaping the future landscape of the transatlantic alliance.