Erdogan is likely to announce Turkey's next step regarding Finland's accession to NATO

Erdogan is likely to announce Turkey's next step regarding Finland's accession to NATO

Erdogan seems to have announced Turkey's progress regarding Finland's entry into NATO

Illustration photo – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pictured on May 16, 2022.

Ankara РTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Ankara today and is expected to announce Turkey's next step regarding Finland's application to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Finland is waiting for it to be submitted to the Turkish parliament, which must vote on the Nordic country's accession to NATO. Sweden is also waiting for its application to be approved, but Ankara still has many comments regarding its acceptance into the alliance.

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The Finnish president has been in Turkey since Thursday. While visiting areas in the southeast of the country that were hit by a devastating earthquake in early February, he expressed hope that Erdogan would announce the start of ratification of Finland's request today. “In my opinion, we have fulfilled all that was required. Now we are just waiting for ratification,” Turkish media quoted Niinist√∂ as saying. This week, the Finnish president said that Erdogan had invited him to Ankara to inform him about Turkey's next move.

Erdogan himself indicated that he would submit the request to parliament. He said this week that he would hold talks with the Finnish president and then fulfill the promises he made to the Nordic country.

Finland is seeking to join NATO together with Sweden. However, Ankara still has a number of reservations about Stockholm. According to Turkey, the Swedish authorities are still not sufficiently combating the activities of organizations that Ankara considers terrorist. These are, for example, the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) or the Kurdish YPG militia operating in northern Syria. Turkey does not even like the demonstrations of anti-Islam activists, which it perceives as spreading hatred. Sweden defends these manifestations, including the burning of the holy book of the Koran, with freedom of expression.

The entry of the Nordic countries into the North Atlantic Alliance must be approved by the parliaments of all member countries. In addition to Turkey, Hungary has still not done so.