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Turkey may back Finland's bid for NATO membership, reject Sweden

Burhan Yuksekkas, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey may ratify only Finland’s bid to join NATO, in a move that could delay Sweden from gaining membership.

“Sweden will be shocked when we give a different response to Finland’s bid,” Erdogan said Sunday on state-run TRT.

Turkey has balked at ratifying Sweden’s bid over its hesitance to wage a crackdown on supporters of Kurdish militants. Recent tensions over the display of an upside-down effigy of Erdogan and the burning of a translated copy of the Quran in Stockholm also sparked outrage in Turkey and other Muslim nations.


Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last May after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as membership would give them protection in the event of a Russian attack. Turkey and Hungary are the only two of NATO’s 30 members that have yet to ratify their applications, which must be approved by all members.

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