Friday, July 14, 2023

"Will Sweden Actually be Admitted Into NATO?"

Erdoğan's price was reportedly $11 to $13 billion in IMF loans but he has been known to agree to a deal and then come back and ask for double the money. He did that to Chancellor Merkel when they were negotiating his price for keeping the Syrian young men from crossing over into Greece.*

So who knows what he is up to?

A couple hours ago a BBC story dropped out of one of the feedreaders: "Turkey's deepening economic crisis prompts Erdogan to look West" so the question is: does desperation make him more or less avaricious?

From 19FortyFive, July 14:

Will Sweden actually be admitted into NATO? Maybe

At NATO’s annual summit in Vilnius, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced “President Erdogan ha[d] agreed to forward Sweden’s accession protocol to the Grand National Assembly ASAP and ensure ratification.” 

Hours later, Erdogan dampened expectations by drawing attention to the fact that the Turkish parliament was on recess and would not convene until October! Is this a repeat of last summer’s Madrid summit, when NATO members believed that Turkey would not raise any further objections to Finland and Sweden both joining, only to be let down by an increasing number of demands by Ankara

What Does Turkey Get?

This is a distinct possibility. If President Erdogan wanted to ratify Sweden’s accession, he could convene the Turkish parliament within a matter of days for a special session. The fact that he chooses not to do this suggests that he may try to leverage more concessions from the United States. This is what Erdogan’s game has always been about: to get what he wants from Washington – (new F-16 fighter jets), or hold up NATO expansion. Officially, Sweden’s accession to NATO and Turkey’s desire to acquire new F-16 fighter jets from America are not related. In practical terms, however, this has always been the sticking point: a quid pro quo

The Biden administration has been giving private assurances to Erdogan that if he fulfills his NATO obligation to welcome Sweden, then they would do their best to convince the U.S. Congress to approve F-16 sales to Turkey. This standoff has now been going on for twelve months. Of course, Erdogan could have signed off on this months ago, but he chose to keep the issue lingering, mainly as an election stunt. The more Sweden tried to satisfy a barrage of demands, loosely masquerading as Turkey’s “security concerns”, the more Erdogan told Turkish voters that he would only admit Sweden if and when Stockholm stopped aiding and abetting “Kurdish terrorists” and ban the burning of Qurans in Stockholm. Washington, desperate to conclude NATO’s most critical expansion in decades, agreed to humor Erdogan until the end of Turkey’s elections in late May. Since this time, the Biden team has turned up the heat on Erdogan.... 

*Here's one of our posts from those goings on in January - March 2016
Turkey's Erdoğan Has Europe Spinning
Erdoğan bumps the demand from €3 billion over two years to €3 billion per year.
He really does have the Eurocrat's number....
If interested, there are many more. It was sort of interesting to watch.
Jan. 7
Maybe they won't go all Walter Duranty on this dictator as they did on Stalin.
(they should still give back the Pulitzer though)

I understand the European poobahs think it's in their (the poobahs, not the subjects citizens) interests to play footsie with Erdoğan but there is absolutely no reason for the U.S. or U.S. media to do so.

The guy says he's the Caliph and got his top Fatwa giver to swear to it.
Roger that, Your Grandiosity, and we're the Sultans of Swing....
Jan. 9
Chancellor Merkel got played.
Erdoğan said €3 billion and accelerated accession to the EU, as the opening bid.
Now that he has the cards and knows he's playing against amateurs, you have to wonder what the rebid is going to be....