Turkish parliament approves Sweden’s NATO membership bid

The Turkish Parliament voted to approve Sweden’s NATO membership application on Tuesday, bringing the Nordic nation one step closer towards joining the alliance after months’ delays.

Out of the 346 parliamentarians who voted, only 287 voted in favor of Sweden joining NATO and 55 voted against it. Four other members abstained.

This vote was the second stage of the ratification process in Turkey after the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Parliament approved the bid last week. The protocol can now be signed into law by the Turkish President Recep TAYYIP Erdogan.

The result on Tuesday removed a major obstacle to the Nordic country joining the alliance. Hungary will now be the lone member state who hasn’t yet ratified Sweden.


On Tuesday, however, Hungary’s prime minister Victor Orban announced that he had invited Ulf Kristersson, his Swedish counterpart, to visit Hungary in order to negotiate the terms for Sweden’s entry.

In May 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in that same year, Sweden and Finland both applied to join NATO. Finland joined NATO on April 20, 2023. This doubled the border of NATO with Russia. Sweden, however, has been facing numerous delays.

Erdogan was initially opposed to Sweden’s bid for membership, accusing Swedish officials that they were too lenient with militant groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Sweden tightened its antiterrorism legislation since applying and has agreed to work closer with Turkey in security concerns.

Erdogan’s approval for Sweden’s bid to join the EU is also dependent on an agreement by the United States. The Turkish president has indicated that he will not sign the protocol as law until the US approves of the sale of F-16 jet fighters to Turkey.

Ben Cardin, the chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday that Congress is still waiting for the completion of the accession documents before proceeding.

After Tuesday’s Turkish parliament vote, Swedish Prime Minster Kristersson stated that Sweden had “taken a step closer” to becoming a NATO full member.

Jeffry Flake, the US ambassador to Turkey, reiterated this sentiment in a blog post on X. He said that “Sweden’s accession into NATO is a crucial step in strengthening our alliance” and he “greatly appreciated the Turkish parliament’s decision to approve Sweden’s entry into NATO.”

The German government has welcomed the result of the Turkish parliament vote. Steffen Hebestreit, spokesperson for the federal government, said that Finland’s April 2014 accession and Sweden’s “imminent accession” are “direct reactions to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”