John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Agree, the choice between Finland, Sweden, and Greece versus Turkey is a no brainer. I suspect over 50% of NATO’s current membership wouldn’t miss sultan Erdogan.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Agree, the choice between Finland, Sweden, and Greece versus Turkey is a no brainer. I suspect over 50% of NATO’s current membership wouldn’t miss sultan Erdogan.
That may be so but it will only reinforce the Turkish narrative that certain European countries are not impartial when it comes to Turkey/Greece; are prejudiced towards Turkey and it does not change the fact that despite whatever flaws or downturns that Turkey is still a valued member of NATO.

We certainly live in interesting times...
We always have. We've also always lived in dangerous times.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
That may be so but it will only reinforce the Turkish narrative that certain European countries are not impartial when it comes to Turkey/Greece; are prejudiced towards Turkey and it does not change the fact that despite whatever flaws or downturns that Turkey is still a valued member of NATO.



We always have. We've also always lived in dangerous times.
Turkey was and could still be a valued member but not with Erdogan or anyone like him!
 

swerve

Super Moderator
That may be so but it will only reinforce the Turkish narrative that certain European countries are not impartial when it comes to Turkey/Greece; are prejudiced towards Turkey
Do you mean prejudiced against Turkey? "Towards" is ambiguous. It could mean for or against.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Turkey was and could still be a valued member but not with Erdogan or anyone like him!
Turkey is a NATO member maintaining its commitments and one occupying an extremely strategic location. It's still valued irrespective of whether one likes Erdogan or not or whatever issues Greece has with Turkey.

If Turkey has ceased becoming a valued NATO member and is a liability on the basis that non democratic Erdogan is in power; is not eager to ingratiate himself with other NATO countries and has adopted policies harmful to NATO then NATO should stop wasting time and expel Turkey - period/full stop.

Do you mean prejudiced against Turkey? "Towards" is ambiguous. It could mean for or against.
I did; should have typed against rather than towards. Thank you.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Agree, the choice between Finland, Sweden, and Greece versus Turkey is a no brainer. I suspect over 50% of NATO’s current membership wouldn’t miss sultan Erdogan.
Are you sure about this? Note the role Turkish Bayraktars have played in the current fight. What would happen if Erdogan actually threw his lot in with Putin? Even just in this Ukrainian war. Remember, whether Finland and Sweden are officially part of NATO or not, they are definitely part of the collective west and in any serious confrontation throw their lot in with NATO. Erdogan's Turkey on the other hand could conceivably not. It might be more important to hold on to the formal treaty for the value it holds for Turkey, to make sure Erdogan is on the right side.
 

relic88

New Member
First post here, long time lurker. By no means am I qualified to comment on anything, just an Army Brat from the late 70's and 80s. I looked it up in passing but not too deep - a question for the respected members here, what is the actual process for NATO membership and can Erdogan actually prevent Finland and Swedish membership?

This article refers to an invitation process as opposed to an application process (maybe it is the same, not sure)

Enlargement and Article 10
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
First post here, long time lurker. By no means am I qualified to comment on anything, just an Army Brat from the late 70's and 80s. I looked it up in passing but not too deep - a question for the respected members here, what is the actual process for NATO membership and can Erdogan actually prevent Finland and Swedish membership?

This article refers to an invitation process as opposed to an application process (maybe it is the same, not sure)

Enlargement and Article 10
He can unfortunately. All candidate members must have the unanimous approval of all existing members before they become members.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
During a joint press conference with the Finnish PM; the Finnish President said he was a bit confused over reports of Turkish objections as he had a prior discussion with Erdogan who did not express any objection to Finland joining NATO.

As it stands; despite what ever concerns it has expressed; Turkey is unlikely to object to Finland and Sweden joining [the pressure on it would be to great] but it will insist that both countries take certain steps with regards to the presence of terrorist organisations on their soil.
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
During a joint press conference with the Finnish PM; the Finnish President said he was a bit confused over reports of Turkish objections as he had a prior discussion with Erdogan who did not express any objection to Finland joining NATO.

As it stands; despite what ever concerns it has expressed; Turkey is unlikely to object to Finland and Sweden joining [the pressure on it would be to great] but it will insist that both countries take certain steps with regards to the presence of terrorist organisations on their soil.
This may be just the public part of Turkey looking to getting some back room sweetener. What is said in public is often not as important as what is negotiated behind closed doors, time will tell in the end. But I would not be surprised if we never hear some of the details of what Turkey is realy after
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
During a joint press conference with the Finnish PM; the Finnish President said he was a bit confused over reports of Turkish objections as he had a prior discussion with Erdogan who did not express any objection to Finland joining NATO.

As it stands; despite what ever concerns it has expressed; Turkey is unlikely to object to Finland and Sweden joining [the pressure on it would be to great] but it will insist that both countries take certain steps with regards to the presence of terrorist organisations on their soil.
This may be just the public part of Turkey looking to getting some back room sweetener. What is said in public is often not as important as what is negotiated behind closed doors, time will tell in the end. But I would not be surprised if we never hear some of the details of what Turkey is really after.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
This is a Kiwi Newsroom article that puts the Finnish and Swedish NATO membership application into context and shows just how much it has changed the European political landscape. The European left, was allergic to defence and security. It especially viewed the likes of Reagan, Bush Jnr, Trump, and Thatcher with much suspicion and some derision. The Greens, especially, were anti militaristic and were pacifists.

In 2014 Putin invades the eastern part of Ukraine using little green men and annexes Crimea. He then starts a covert war against Ukraine and from December last year ups the ante considerably, finally fully invading in February this year. In the last year or so the European left have gradually changed their stance, but since Putin's invasion this year they have done a complete 180 and now are more "aggressive" and assertive than most parties on the right. Even the German Greens seem to have cast their pacifism aside, with the German Greens being the most in favour of NATO and defence spending now. Both the Finnish PM, Sanna Marin, and Swedish PM, Magdalena Andersson, are left wing Social Democrats who would never have dreamed that they would lead their countries into NATO, yet here they are.

This is quite an interesting and intriguing development because its now taking defence out of the realm of the economical theory motivated politicians and placing it in political theory motivated politicians.

Putin’s War Has Changed The Pacifist Reflexes of Europe's Left | Newsroom
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
We can safely assume Turkey will ultimately back down over Finland and Sweden but the question is what does it get in return? In the past Turkey did block the appointment for the NATO Secretary General but backed down after a certain concession was made. As it stands Erdogan can't back down too easily as right or wrongly; the PKK is seen as a threat and is a major security issue for Turkey.


''Turkey has always been strongly in favour of NATO enlargement, as seen with the Baltic states, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, as well as Slovenia, Slovakia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, Albania and even Georgia. However, the situation is now different,” he said.''

“There is a very strong public perception in Turkey that Sweden is assisting Turkey’s enemies, and this exerts huge pressure on the government,” said Ersavci.''


Turkey remains a fairly influential member within NATO,” Garret J Martin, lecturer and co-director of the Transatlantic Policy Center at American University, told Al Jazeera.

“Its geopolitical position makes it a very valuable player while the second largest standing military force in NATO, behind the United States, makes it a potential contributor to the collective defence of the alliance.”
 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
Until recently Turkey demanded Sweden to return 33 people that Turkey claim are members of the terrorist organization PKK. Three of the people on the list are dead. One is a member of the Swedish parliament. According to Sweden, Turkey has not presented any evidence that the 33 people are/have been members of PKK. And in any case it seems odd to ask Sweden to return people that have passed away (it reminds me of Russia, which recently declared John McCain persona non grata...)

Sweden declared PKK a terrorist organization in 1994, the first country to do so after Turkey.

Now Turkey has changed their demands -- instead of presenting a list of people they just say that Sweden must hand over "the terrorists", whoever they may be...

Turkey also claims that Sweden has supplied PKK&YPG with weapons. Sweden denies this. I don't believe Sweden would supply terrorists with weapons.


Turkey has published a (new?) list of demands, in a number of different languages, none of them are Scandinavian or English (not sure why in particular English translation was not included). I dont speak any of the languages particularly well so cannot provide a translation.

 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Sweden declared PKK a terrorist organization in 1994, the first country to do so after Turkey.
Nah, Germany was a couple months ahead of Sweden (Dec 1st 1993).

According to Sweden, Turkey has not presented any evidence that the 33 people are/have been members of PKK.
Do any of them have formal asylum status in Sweden?
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Interesting footage on Sweden's air arm. Sweden's inclusion into NATO brings it a lot of benefits but it is also able to offer its future partners quite a bit in terms of capability. The Gripen may not be a Typhoon or a Rafale but it's a very capable platform in its own right.

 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
Do any of them have formal asylum status in Sweden?
I don't know, but several of them have become Swedish citizens, five are politicians, and one of the politicians is in the Swedish Parliament. (Turkey later walked back and said it was a "misunderstanding" that they wanted the MP extradited). NATO bid reignites Sweden’s dispute with Turkey over Kurds – POLITICO

Turkey is now saying that Sweden and Finland must amend their laws in order to meet Turkish demands: Turkey says Nordics must change laws if needed to meet its NATO demands | Reuters

Sweden and Finland has to make some concessions -- at the same time it is doubtful that they will be able to meet all of Erdogan's demands. Erdogan is a bully and he only understands transactions and the language of power. Sweden/Finland are nearly powerless in this situation. Therefore I sincerely hope that the other NATO members step up and put some serious pressure on Erdogan.

What I would suggest is that NATO start making demands to Turkey about the lack of democracy in Turkey. Journalists have been put in Turkish jails in record numbers, there is no freedom of the press in Turkey. Political opponents have also been harassed and put in jail.

In the past it has been suggested to use the Vienna convention to expel Turkey from NATO, due to Turkeys invasion of Syria: Can Turkey be Expelled from NATO? It's Legally Possible, Whether or Not Politically Prudent (justsecurity.org).

I would suggest to use the same mechanism to threaten Turkey with NATO suspension, unless Turkey immediately initiate processes to become more democratic again. This is fully justified since it is a NATO requirement that all NATO members must be democratic countries. Hopefully those threats should be enough to push Turkey into reaching a compromise on Sweden/Finland's NATO membership. If not, Turkey's NATO membership should in my opinion be suspended until Sweden and Finland become NATO members. The suspension could be lifted if Turkey becomes more democratic. (most likely the threat of suspension would be enough, Erdogan is neither brave nor principled, he basically wants to stay in his palace In photos: Erdoğan gives journalists tour of 1,150-room presidential palace (hurriyetdailynews.com) )
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
In the past it has been suggested to use the Vienna convention to expel Turkey from NATO, due to Turkeys invasion of Syria: Can Turkey be Expelled from NATO? It's Legally Possible, Whether or Not Politically Prudent (justsecurity.org).
I would suggest to use the same mechanism to threaten Turkey with NATO suspension, unless Turkey immediately initiate processe
Such a move would by deeply hypocritical and pointless given that the U.S. and Britain have a history of invasions and that long after served no purpose [IS was largely defeated with a lot of help from Russia and Iran] US. troops were still in Syria. Irrespective of how wants to paint it Syria borders Turkey and what happens in Syria is of the utmost concern for Turkey.

Turkey's suspension from NATO will have implications. Given a choice between whether Turkey is democratic or not and having to weight up the political and strategic implications of suspending Turkey; NATO would do away with the democratic angle.

For NATO there is much more at stake than whether Erdogan is a nice chap or not. Let me remind you that various NATO countries have close strategic partnerships with countries that don't even have elected leaders or much of an opposition. Also, if Erdogan was eager to ingratiate himself with his Western partners and didn't do anything which annoyed them; we'd be hearing much less of how undemocratic and and unpleasant Erdogan is.

Also, any such move would no go down well with a large portion of the Turk population who despite not liking or supporting Erdogan; would feel that Turkey is being victimised and singled out; especially by NATO countries such as Greece and Turkey. As it stands many Turks have long felt that Turkey - despite maintaining its NATO commitments and cooperating at various levels - is not accepted as an equal partner due to certain prejudices by the West.
 
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Vivendi

Well-Known Member
Such a move would by deeply hypocritical and pointless given that the U.S. and Britain have a history of invasions and that long after served no purpose [IS was largely defeated with a lot of help from Russia and Iran] US. troops were still in Syria. Irrespective of how wants to paint it Syria borders Turkey and what happens in Syria is of the utmost concern for Turkey.

Turkey's suspension from NATO will have implications. Given a choice between whether Turkey is democratic or not and having to weight up the political and strategic implications of suspending Turkey; NATO would do away with the democratic angle.

For NATO there is much more at stake than whether Erdogan is a nice chap or not. Let me remind you that various NATO countries have close strategic partnerships with countries that don't even have elected leaders or much of an opposition. Also, if Erdogan was eager to ingratiate himself with his Western partners and didn't do anything which annoyed them; we'd be hearing much less of how undemocratic and and unpleasant Erdogan is.

Also, any such move would no go down well with a large portion of the Turk population who despite not liking or supporting Erdogan; would feel that Turkey is being victimised and singled out; especially by NATO countries such as Greece and Turkey. As it stands many Turks have long felt that Turkey - despite maintaining its NATO commitments and cooperating at various levels - is not accepted as an equal partner due to certain prejudices by the West.
1. NATO is more than the US and the UK. NATO consist of 30 mostly democratic countries. NATO rules are different from whatever rules the US and the UK are operating under.

2. As I mentioned in my post the main argument would be current lack of democratic processes in Turkey, not the Turkish invasion of Syria.

3. Of course what happens in Syria is important to Turkey -- however Turkey has in the past supported militant islamist groups in Syria, to use as a counterweight against the Kurds in Syria destabilizing the region. Some of those islamists left the groups supported and ended up in IS or Al Qada. Turkey was very slow to react to the growth of IS, focusing only on the Kurds in the region. This caused a lot of issues later on.

4. Not sure why you bring up the issue of Erdogan being a nice chap or not -- he is what he is, and NATO just has to deal with him. However, understanding what makes him tick helps inform how to deal with him, hence my comment about him.

5. In the new "multipolar world" that we now live in I think it's important for countries with shared values to stick together, more now than ever. NATO is an excellent vehicle for this for the North Atlantic region. Hopefully Turkey will return to democracy soon, that would be a win-win for both Turkey and the other NATO countries. If Turkey keeps marching in the opposite direction, it will be lose-lose for both Turkey and NATO, only China and Russia will celebrate.

6. I would recommend not announcing in media that Turkey is at risk of being suspended from NATO. This should be communicated to Turkey in a closed session. Nobody in Turkey would feel "victimized" since they will not hear about it. There is a risk that Turkey could leak the information, however that would not be wise, since it would be seen as a major escalation.

Seriously if Turkey refuse to let Sweden and Finland in, let's boot them out. However, as I said in my post above I don't think it will be necessary since I believe only the threat of being booted out will be enough to make Turkey back down. If not, they would have left NATO a long time ago, since they feel as you write "not accepted as an equal partner" in NATO (which is wrong of course, it's just that they expect a "special treatment", which they get to some extent, but not as much as they would like). The truth is that Turkey very much want to stay in NATO, they see a lot of benefits of being a member, in spite of all the noise and complaints coming from Ankara.

Do I need to remind you about the noise around the purchase of SAMs that ended up with S-400s? Turkey keeps insisting that Europe/US refused to sell Turkey Patriot or SAMP/T. This was and is a lie. Turkey was always welcome to purchase, it's just that the companies could not meet Turkeys demands in terms of reduced price and increased technology transfer. (ironically, Russia is also not providing the level of tech transfer that Turkey demanded... Turkey failed to convince Russia to share missile technology, agree to co-production - Nordic Monitor )

Erdogan is partly to blame for the anti-western views in Turkey, since he uses that often when he communicates with his followers. It helps to have externals to blame and shift focus on.
 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
@STURM I want also to highlight what I wrote in my post above: Sweden and Finland must make concessions to Turkey, since Turkey does have legitimate security concerns. However the issue is that Sw/Fi cannot meet all demands from Turkey. Thus a compromise must be found. It's difficult to find a compromise with Turkey as long as Turkey has a lot of leverage and Sw/Fi has none. Thus something else must be put on the table. Since this whole debacle is about what requirements one should put on NATO members, I think it would be extremely fitting to strongly remind Turkey that NATO is not just a military alliance it is also political, with focus on democracy and international law.
 
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