In remarks delivered on Monday morning, Erdoğan made a direct link between Sweden’s bid to join the NATO military alliance, which his country continues to block, and Turkey’s long-standing candidacy to become a member of the European Union, which has been on an effective standstill since 2018.
“Turkey has been waiting at the door of the European Union for over 50 years now, and almost all of the NATO member countries are now members of the European Union. I am making this call to these countries that have kept Turkey waiting at the gates of the European Union for more than 50 years,” Erdoğan said, according to the Associated Press.
[ Editor’s Note: From our perch, Erdoğan holds all the cards. While certainly pissing off the rest of NATO for holding up Sweden’s full membership, he is in a great negotiating position to extract concessions for his own nation. Perhaps he will not get the EU membership he seeks, but he knows this is a long shot anyhow. ]