Members of Turkish parliament attend session before voting on a bill regarding Sweden's accession to NATO, at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara, Turkey, 23 January 2024. EPA-EFE/NECATI SAVAS


Turkey’s parliament approves Sweden’s NATO membership bid


Turkey’s parliament approved Sweden’s NATO membership bid on Tuesday following more than four hours of debate, clearing a last major hurdle to expand the Western military alliance after 20 months of delays.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party, its nationalist MHP allies, and the main opposition CHP voted in favour of the bid in the general assembly, while opposition nationalist, Islamist and leftist parties voted against it.

Erdogan will sign the bill into law, likely in the coming days, thus ending a lengthy process that has both frustrated some of Ankara’s Western allies and enabled it to extract concessions.

Hungary remains the only NATO member yet to ratify Stockholm’s accession.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday he had invited Sweden’s prime minister to visit and negotiate his country joining the NATO military alliance.

“Today I sent an invitation letter to Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson @SwedishPM for a visit to Hungary to negotiate on Sweden’s NATO accession,” Orban said on the X social media platform.