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Turkey’s Erdogan initiates Sweden NATO ratification in parliament

It remains unclear how long the ratification process will take given the Turkish president’s recent airing of grievances against Stockholm and Washington.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (C) takes an oath of office after his election win at the parliament in Ankara on June 3, 2023. Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in for a third term as president on June 3, promising to serve "impartially" after winning a historic runoff election to extend his two-decade rule. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo by ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)

ANKARA — Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday approved Sweden’s pending NATO membership bid and sent the Nordic nation’s accession protocol to the Turkish Parliament for ratification.

The Turkish presidency's communication directorate said that the parliament in Ankara has received the ratification protocol.

In the Turkish legislature, the protocol will first be taken up by the foreign relations committee and then put to a vote by the full Grand National Assembly, where Erdogan’s ruling coalition holds the majority. The process could be concluded in less than 15 days, as occurred with the ratification of Finland's accession to NATO in March, but Erdogan's recent remarks — airing grievances against both Stockholm and the Biden administration, which is pressing for the expansion of the alliance — signal that the process may take longer. Unlike when he did with the Finland accession, Erdogan didn’t call on the Turkish parliament for a swift ratification for Sweden. 

Speaking in New York in September, Erdogan said that Stockholm “didn’t do enough” to fulfill its promises to Turkey, including prohibiting demonstrations by Kurdish activists in Sweden.

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