Turkish Leader Erdogan Stresses “Principled Stance” in Delaying NATO Membership for Sweden and Finland

Turkey’s opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO has been one of the most surprising developments in international affairs over the last month. 

Ostensibly, Turkey has done so on the grounds that Sweden and Finland contain terroristic elements in the country, namely, individuals connected to Kurdish groups that Ankara has labeled as terrorist organizations. 

However, some international affairs specialists believe that Turkey is using this gesture as a way to extract benefits from NATO and EU countries. Turkey’s foreign policy tends to be opportunistic in nature, as evidenced by its purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems in 2017 — a move that greatly angered NATO and the United States. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stressed in a tweet on June 1, 2022 that “Turkey’s approach to Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership is not opportunistic, but a principled stance in the fight against terrorism.”


Source: Bellum Acta

Turkey’s effort to block NATO membership for Sweden and Finland represents another flex by Turkey in European affairs, which gives further credence to the concept of the Long Arm of Ankara. Turkey is the black sheep of NATO. 

As the geopolitical environment grows more unstable, countries like Turkey will continue employing hedging strategies to maneuver their way across the uncharted waters of multipolarity. Such moves could signal the end of NATO, which should remind US foreign policymakers of the need to jump off this increasingly unstable, and soon-to-be sinking ship. 

The US should not shackle itself to zombified institutions.  

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