Turkish parliament clears Finland's membership in NATO

Red carpet for Finland's entry into NATO, in the last breath of the mandate of Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
30 March 2023 Thursday 15:24
38 Reads
Turkish parliament clears Finland's membership in NATO

Red carpet for Finland's entry into NATO, in the last breath of the mandate of Prime Minister Sanna Marin. There was no surprise this Thursday in Ankara, where at the stroke of midnight the Turkish Parliament unanimously ratified her candidacy. In other words, with the vote in favor of all the deputies present, which were 276 in a chamber of 600. This was the last obstacle left for Helsinki, after the Hungarian parliament also paved the way for it a few days ago.

The session of the Turkish Parliament, which lasted until late at night due to the inclusion of other bills, was broadcast live on public television in Finland, where the expectation was great due to the historical turn.

Although the approval had been sung for fifteen days, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - flanked by his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö - recommended ratification to parliament. This now only lacks his signature and his publication in the State bulletin. A relief for Marin, who is playing for re-election this Sunday in a very close election in which his party is side by side with the right and the ultra-right.

The young Social Democratic politician has broken with the tradition of neutrality cultivated by her country after its defeat in World War II. Finland has buried Finnishization, shocked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This moved the prime ministers of Sweden and Finland to coordinate their call at the doors of the Atlantic bloc. Stockholm, however, will have to wait. The prime minister who started the negotiations was defeated a few months ago and her successor today cooled expectations of a quick accession, coinciding with the NATO summit in Lithuania in July. Neither Türkiye nor Hungary are for the job.

It should be remembered that Sweden and Finland committed themselves at the previous NATO summit in Madrid to address Turkey's security concerns, something that managed to unblock their candidacies in extremis.

While Helsinki has ended its veto on the sale of arms to the Turkish Armed Forces, Stockholm would not have advanced enough in the demands of Ankara, which considers that the Scandinavian country serves as a refuge for hundreds of refugees from the Kurdish armed movement and cadres. intellectuals from the Fethullah Gülen brotherhood, convicted of coup.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish parliament already approved the Finnish candidacy last week. The eventual entry of Sweden and Finland will double the kilometers of the Atlantic bloc's border with Russia and will corner the latter in the Baltic Sea.

As is well known, membership in NATO presupposes the unanimous approval of all its members. Turkey is one of the oldest, as it entered in 1952 -as a prize from Washington for its participation in the Korean War- along with Greece, even before West Germany did.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had warned that any new NATO advance towards his borders would have a tailored response, announced a few days ago the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

In any case, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who has congratulated himself on the ratification, says he still has hope that Sweden can enter hand in hand with Finland before the Vilnius summit. Something that the inactivity of the Turkish Parliament since a month before the elections -to be held on May 14- makes it highly improbable.

Upon ratification by all allies, new members of the Atlantic Alliance must deposit their "instrument of membership" with the US State Department in Washington, ultimately making them full members.