Colossal Demand from Turkey.

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.09 - 2023 7:41 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Colossal Demand from Turkey.

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Sweden's NATO application faces what seems to be an almost impossible challenge.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently announced that he has submitted Sweden's NATO application to his parliament.

"I have done my duty," he said, according to Financial Times.

At the same time, Erdogan made it clear that the American F-16 jets Turkey wishes to purchase should be delivered at the same moment Sweden's membership is ratified.

However, an additional Turkish demand has now emerged, reports Bloomberg, citing Turkish media.

Demanding Peace in the Middle East

This time, the demand does not come directly from the president. Instead, it originates from the Turkish nationalist party MHP and its leader Devlet Bahceli.

The demand is significant: the party insists on permanent peace between Israel and Palestine – a conflict marked by constant wars and violence since the 1940s.

Before this is achieved, they will not vote to admit Sweden into NATO.

This poses a problem for Sweden's membership, as Erdoğan's party, AKP, is entirely dependent on MHP's votes in the parliament for a yes vote.

If Devlet Bahceli and his party members vote no, it will be a dead end.

"We are cool towards a Swedish application," the party leader said, according to Bloomberg.

Additional Demands

A “permanent peace” between Palestine and Israel is not enough for MHP.

The party has more demands.

Palestine must also be recognized as an independent state, and Israel must agree to pay reparations for the war.

Moreover, MHP demands that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

"Then we can say okay to Sweden's entry into NATO," says Devlet Bahceli.

"Cave in Europe"

This is not the first time MHP has complicated Sweden's chances of completing its NATO membership.

Previously, however, they have mostly criticized Sweden rather than setting formal demands.

"Sweden is PKK's cave in Europe, Stockholm is the same as the Qandil Mountains," Devlet Bahceli said, according to the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak last summer.

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