ARTICLE – As he faces a tough fight for re-election, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has been raising fresh objections to Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership bids.
BRUSSELS — Hopes that Turkey would ratify the NATO memberships of Sweden and Finland any time soon have faded, with its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the midst of a tough fight for re-election.
Turkey will vote in mid-May for president and parliament, and opinion polls show that Mr. Erdogan and his Islamist party, Justice and Development, are facing difficulties, largely because of a dire economy and high inflation.
As he faces mounting domestic challenges ahead of the vote, Mr. Erdogan has been trying to focus attention elsewhere, and has been raising fresh objections to Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership bids, suggesting he might further delay the process after his initial threat to block them. Sweden and Finland insist that together they will stay the course.
Sweden, which has a tradition of openness to refugees from Kurdistan, is a particular target of Mr. Erdogan’s demands, given Turkey’s battle against Kurdish separatism, especially from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., which both Ankara and Washington consider a terrorist organization.
Read the article written by Steven Erlanger on The New York Times.