Turkish Parliament Ratifies Finland’s NATO Membership

    Turkish Parliament Ratifies Finland’s NATO Membership
    Last updated Mar 31, 2023
    Image credit: ITN


    • On Thursday, Turkey's parliament approved a bill that would allow Finland to join NATO, clearing the way for the Nordic country to become part of the Western military alliance as the war in Ukraine grinds on.[1]
    • All 276 members of Turkey's parliament that were present voted in favor of the country's accession to NATO, days after Hungary's parliament also endorsed Helsinki's bid. The Turkish parliament was the last among the 30 members of the alliance to ratify Finland's membership.[2]
    • Under NATO rules, any new member must secure the support of all nations within the alliance. The addition of Finland would lengthen the alliance's border with Russia by more than 800 miles.[3]
    • Meanwhile, Sweden's application to join the alliance has been left hanging. Despite endorsing NATO's expansion, Turkey and Hungary have declined to give it their blessing.[4]
    • Ankara alleges that Sweden is too lenient toward militant Kurdish groups and people associated with the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, while Budapest opposes comments made by Swedish politicians about its democracy.[4]
    • Once Turkish Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan formally approves the ratification, Ankara and Budapest will send their approving documents to the US — NATO's depository — after which Finland will be formally invited to join the alliance.[1]


    Narrative A

    The Turkish parliament's positive vote to ratify Finland's membership will help strengthen the alliance and make it safer. While the accession of Sweden would also be a welcome move, NATO isn't there yet. Erdoğan's hard line against Sweden has broad support within Turkey, but perhaps things will change after its upcoming election.

    Narrative B

    By refusing to accept Sweden into NATO, Erdoğan looks more and more like an opportunist than the leader of one of NATO's most important members, pushing his own domestic agenda rather than that of the alliance. By simply asking too much of Sweden, he endangers the whole bloc.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 70% chance that Sweden will join NATO before 2024, according to the Metaculus Prediction Community.

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