Turkey Debates over Sweden’s NATO Bid


Sudan Events – Sumaya Sayed

The Turkish parliament’s committee on Tuesday started a session to debate a number of issues including Sweden’s bid to join NATO, a thorny topic that was further complicated after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan linked it to Ankara’s request for F-16 fighter jets from its ally the United States.
In November, the Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee failed to reach agreement on a text for a full floor vote and met again Tuesday afternoon.
“The committee meeting has started. Sweden’s dossier is in the 10th place on the agenda,” opposition CHP party lawmaker Utku Cakirozer, a member of the foreign affairs committee, told AFP.
Erdogan in July lifted his objections to Sweden’s NATO membership after Stockholm cracked down on Kurdish groups that Ankara calls terrorists.
If approved by the committee, Sweden’s NATO bid will come to the parliament floor, where Erdogan’s ruling alliance holds the majority of seats.
In December, Erdogan has linked Sweden’s membership to the US Congress “simultaneously” agreeing to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. He also said NATO allies including Canada should lift arms embargoes imposed on Ankara.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly promised to move forward with the $20-billion F-16 sale but lawmakers have blocked it over concerns about Turkey’s alleged violations of human rights and its past tensions with Greece.

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