Turkey Finally Supports Finland’s and Sweden’s Bid for NATO Membership
On June 28, 2022, Turkey finally accepted Sweden and Finland’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership bid. During the first day of the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg celebrated Turkey’s decision to agree to a deal that would have Sweden and Finland admitted into the alliance.
Previously, Turkey voiced concerns about admitting Finland and Sweden into the alliance due to how they allegedly housed entities that Turkey deems as terrorist organizations. The PKK is the most prominent of the organizations that the Turkish state has labeled as terrorist organizations.
With Stoltenberg’s announcement on June 28, Turkey’s concerns have been addressed. After reaching an agreement, Turkey, Finland, and Sweden signed a “joint memorandum.”
“Our joint memorandum underscores the commitment of Finland, Sweden and Turkey to extend their full support against threats to each other’s security,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto declared in a statement. “Us becoming NATO allies will further strengthen this commitment.”
According to Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge, NATO’s proscription of the PKK as a “terrorist organization” fulfilled one of Turkey’s key demands .
In a statement that the Biden regime released, it described Turkey’s favorable disposition towards the concept of Finnish and Swedish ascension into NATO as “powerful shot in the arm” among allies.
Niinisto noted that this development came after Turkey Sweden, and Finland signed a joint memorandum “to extend their full support against threats to each other’s security.”
“We are now working actively on the next steps in the accession process of both Finland and Sweden. And addressing Turkey’s security concerns, including in the fight against terrorism,” Stoltenberg said during a media interview.
Stoltenberg claimed that the memorandum features Sweden and Finland coming to an agreement to “crack down on PKK activities and enter into an agreement with Turkey on extradition.”
The Turkish government has criticized Finland and Sweden for giving aid and comfort to Kurdish terrorist organizations, and similar entities, in northern Syria. Erdogan has made it a point to demand that the two countries extradite wanted members of the PKK. Turkey has taken muscular military action in northern Syria against the PKK, especially in 2019 — a move that led the European Union to launch an arms embargo against it.
Turkey has other demands that included readmission into the F-35 stealth program and putting pressure on the US to lift the EU’s 2019 arms embargo on Turkey. Last but certainly not least, Turkey has clamored for the US to fast-track a deal for Turkey to obtain new F-16 fighter jets. This final point has escalated tensions between Turkey and Greece in recent weeks.
Turkey is one tough customer. The Anatolian power has a longstanding history of geopolitical hedging where it plays great powers off of each other in order to extract the most benefits out of them. While it’s admirable to see a country pursue its national interest, this should serve as another reminder as to why the US needs to leave NATO.
Dealing with countries like Turkey is always a headache, and its geopolitical ambitions could potentially have the US sleepwalking into an unnecessary geopolitical conflict. For that reason, the US needs to consider some form of exit from this alliance.
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