Members of the TBMM approved Sweden’s NATO accession protocol after the crucial vote, ending 20 months of negotiations between Ankara and Stockholm. Following the approval of Sweden’s accession to NATO by the Plenary of the National Assembly, the protocol will receive the final signature from the President of Turkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
In this context, no political party group voted ‘no’ for Finland’s participation in March 2023.
Turkiye has been waiting for Sweden’s membership to be approved for more than a year because Turkiye wanted to see that Sweden implemented the necessary legal changes in its fight against members of the terrorist organization PKK and other groups that Turkey sees as a security threat.
According to the news by Reuters, after the approval of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to sign the relevant text and turn it into law within a few days, leaving Hungary as the only member country that has not approved Sweden’s participation.
Hungary had promised not to be the last ally to ratify the deal. Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday that he had invited his Swedish counterpart to visit and discuss his country joining the bloc. If Sweden’s membership is accepted, the number of member countries in NATO will be 32.
In addition, Washington is expected to “simultaneously” approve the sale of F-16 warplanes to Ankara in exchange for approval of Sweden’s stalled bid to join the NATO alliance. In this context, Erdoğan stated that he did his part by referring Sweden’s decision to join NATO to the Turkish Grand National Assembly in October, but now he expects the US Congress to simultaneously approve Turkiye’s request to purchase billions of dollars of F-16 Block 70 fighter jets and modernisation kits.
The Biden administration supports Turkiye's request to purchase F-16s to strengthen its ageing warplane fleet, but the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is reluctant to approve the purchases. Head of the delegation, Ben Cardin, said in his statement that Turkiye’s approval of Sweden’s NATO offer was only one of the many difficulties in approving the purchase of warplanes.