Turkey will not ratify Sweden's NATO bid before October: Erdogan

AFP , Wednesday 12 Jul 2023

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that Turkey would not be able to ratify Sweden's NATO candidacy until at least October because parliament was not in session.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the NATO Summit
Turkey s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives a press conference during the NATO Summit in Vilnius on July 12, 2023. AFP


"There is a two-month parliament holiday. Of course, it will not be possible to end this holiday before October," Erdogan told reporters at the end of a two-day NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

"There are many international agreements, there are many legislative proposals that need to be discussed. We take them up in the order of their importance. But our goal is to finish this process as soon as possible," Erdogan said.

Erdogan's comments threatened to both disappoint and worry Swedish and NATO officials.

Some Western leaders had hoped that Turkey would be able to finish the ratification process in the coming weeks.

The Turkish leader agreed on Monday to allow Sweden to join the US-led alliance after resisting the candidacy for more than a year.

Erdogan was particularly angered by protests at which anti-Islamic figures burned pages from the Koran.

Sweden has amended its constitution and tightened its anti-terror legislation in response to pressure from Erdogan.

But it still permits protests at which people have burned the Islamic holy book.

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