Sweden, Türkiye, and NATO: Rational choices leading to a breakdown in negotiations?

Sweden’s NATO application looks as if it is on the cusp of derailing once more after 21 August comments from Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In the context of Sweden’s NATO application, Erdoğan asserted that “Sweden must first of all take care of the streets of Stockholm. If they don’t take care of their streets, if these attacks on the things we hold sacred continue, then they shouldn’t blame us”. This statement follows a summer of Qur’an burnings that have soured Sweden’s relations with most of the Muslim world, Türkiye included, severely increased the risk of terror attacks on Sweden and motivated direct threats by militant Islamist groups. 

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What Benefits and Disadvantages does Sweden and Finland get from NATO?

This Info Flash will first examine the international relations between Sweden, Hungary, and Türkiye, which are tense since Sweden started its accession process to join NATO in the aftermath of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. With this context, the second part of the paper will conduct an analysis of the benefits and disadvantages for Sweden, Finland, and NATO itself in accepting these new member states.

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