The Turkish Parliament has ratified this Thursday Finland’s entry into NATO, ending months of blockade by Ankara of this expansion of the Atlantic Alliance. The corresponding document has been adopted with the votes in favor of the 276 deputies present, with which nothing prevents Finland from joining. Turkey was the only country of the 30 partners that had not yet ratified it after Hungary’s legislature approved a similar bill this week, while continuing to block Sweden’s bid to join the military pact.
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Both the government deputies and those of the opposition who intervened in the debate on the law that defines Finland’s entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as appropriate have “welcomed” the new partner.
The NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, has welcomed with “welcome” the ratification by the Turkish Parliament of Finland’s entry into the organization, which will make it “stronger and more secure”.
Ahmet Kamil Erozan, a member of the opposition Good Party, has criticized the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for treating the process of this expansion of the military alliance as a matter of domestic politics. “Most likely, Sweden’s accession will also be approved after the elections,” he said, referring to the general elections called for May 14.
Only the pro-Kurdish opposition party Popular Democracy (HDP) has abstained from participating in the vote due to its position of fundamental rejection of all military and arms agreements, as explained by Hisyar Ozsoy, one of its deputies. On the other hand, Oszoy has accused the Government of having blackmailed Finland and Sweden, and of forcing Sweden to act against its own laws to deport the Kurdish asylum seekers in that country.
The result of the vote was as expected since Erdogan gave his go-ahead to Finland at the beginning of the month, after meeting in Ankara with his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinistö.
As Reuters explains, once the ratification process is complete, Turkey and Hungary must send their approval documents to the US government in Washington, NATO’s depositary under the alliance’s founding treaty. Stoltenberg will then formally invite Finland to join NATO.
As the last step, Finland will hand over its “instrument of accession”, a document signed by its foreign minister, to the US government, the Finnish government has reported. When Finland’s instrument of accession document reaches the US State Department, the Nordic country will formally become a member of NATO.
Both Erdogan and other Turkish officials, including Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu, have stated that Sweden continues to fail to meet the Turkish government’s demands set out in a Memorandum signed last summer on the sidelines of the NATO summit held in Madrid. Thus, they continue to block the entry of Sweden, considering that this country does not fulfill its promises to prevent the activities of organizations that Turkey considers terrorist.
“My goal remains that after the Turkish elections, but before the Vilnius summit, we can also have Swedish ratification,” said the NATO Secretary General in an interview with Politico, referring to the Alliance summit on July 11.
Ankara accuses Stockholm of providing protection to members of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party and demands their extradition before ratifying the country’s NATO membership. Finland and Sweden, until now neutral, requested entry into the alliance last year after seeing their security threatened after the Russian invasion of Ukraine