Why Turkey is blocking NATO's expansion

Sweden and Finland have applied to join the alliance. Not so fast.

Turkey, Finland, and Sweden.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Gettyimages)

The expansion of NATO is going … haltingly. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland have applied to join the military alliance that includes the United States and much of Western Europe. But the process has hit a stumbling block. The Associated Press reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week said Sweden "can no longer expect any charity from us regarding their NATO membership application" after right-wing protesters burned a Koran outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. Finland's foreign minister followed that by suggesting his country could join the alliance without Sweden if necessary. Why is Turkey opposed to NATO expansion? And how might this affect the war in Europe? Here's everything you need to know:

Why do Finland and Sweden want to join NATO?

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us