The Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs commission delayed a vote on Sweden’s NATO membership bid on Thursday.
Chairman Fuat Oktay said the commission will hold further talks and may bring the bill back on its agenda next week, but he did not set a clear timeline.
“For all of our lawmakers to approve Sweden’s NATO membership, they need to be fully convinced. We will discuss all of these in our (next) commission meeting (on the issue),” Oktay said after hours of debate.
The commission can pass bills by a simple majority. It may invite the Swedish ambassador to brief lawmakers if needed and if parliament’s regulations allow it, Oktay added.
Sweden and Finland requested to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in May of last year in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised objections at the time to both requests over what he said was the Nordic nations’ protection of those Türkiye deems terrorists, and over their defence trade embargoes. Türkiye endorsed Finland’s bid in April but has kept Sweden waiting.
While NATO member Hungary has also not ratified Sweden’s membership, Türkiye is seen as the main roadblock to adding Sweden to the military alliance and bolstering its defences in the Baltic Sea region.