Turkish gov’t ally New Welfare Party to vote against Sweden’s NATO bid

Turkish government ally Islamist New Welfare Party announced that they will vote against Sweden’s NATO bid in the Parliament, citing the Quran-burning incidents in the Nordic country.

Duvar English

The Turkish government’s coalition partner far-right New Welfare Party (YRP) on Oct. 24 announced that they will not vote on behalf of Sweden’s NATO bid in the Parliament.

Speaking after a party meeting, YRP deputy chair Suat Kılıç said they will vote against Sweden's membership in NATO in the Turkish Grand National Assembly “Unless Sweden takes steps against terrorist organizations and terrorist activities that directly target the Republic of Turkey; unless it passes laws and engages in combating the financing of terrorism; unless Sweden ensures the extradition of terrorists who target the existence, unity and peace of the Republic of Turkey to Turkey, despite judicial decisions and red notices; as long as Sweden maintains its stance of not (penalizing) those who burn the Holy Quran.” 

Also a former Youth and Sports Minister from the AKP, Kılıç added their stance would not change “whatever the stance of any other political party on this issue.”

Kılıç also called on all states, especially Turkey, regional powers, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, oil producer Arab countries, the United Nations and NATO to use “the necessary force through international organizations against the genocide of Israel.”

His remarks came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 23 submitted a bill approving Sweden's NATO membership bid to parliament for ratification.

Since Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has 263 parliamentary seats out of 600, the ratification of Sweden's NATO bid will require the support of other ruling coalition parties in case the opposition will vote against it.

Similarly, the head of SADAT, a private military firm with close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said on Oct. 24 that “If this bill is approved (in the parliament), history will not forgive it,” referring to Sweden's NATO bid.