Turkey's Erdoğan Approves Finland's NATO Bid

    Photo: Reuters [via CNBC]

    The Facts

    • On Friday, Turkey's Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approved Finland's bid to join NATO — ending nearly a year of impasse after he threatened to veto both Finland and Sweden's application over concerns about their alleged ties to militant groups.

    • In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden applied to join the alliance last May, marking a reversal from their usual political neutrality.


    The Spin

    Narrative A

    While on the surface this appears to be a win for Finland, it's a decisive ploy to stoke division between the two Nordic countries. While much of Turkey's disapproval has always been directed at Sweden, Finland has made it consistently clear that NATO entry is a joint ticket. Sweden is as valuable an asset to NATO as NATO is to Sweden, and — for the sake of the Atlantic Alliance — it will be best for all parties if the issue is resolved.

    Narrative B

    Turkey doesn't oppose NATO enlargement — as evidenced by Erdoğan's latest decision — however, it does take a stand against countries that protect those who pose a security threat to Ankara. Sweden holds a bigger PKK presence than Finland and has long been criticized for its housing of multiple terrorists. There must be a change in the country's stance towards Ankara's national security if they wish to join NATO alongside Finland.


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