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FILE PHOTO: The President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speak at a press conference in Berlin on November 17th, 2023.

ddp/Andreas Gora via Reuters

Still no Swedish meatballs at the NATO cantina

Just days after the Swedish foreign minister said he was confident his country would join NATO “within weeks,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has thrown up another roadblock.

If you’re counting, the process has now dragged on for more than 18 months, as Turkey and Hungary are the two NATO member holdouts blocking Sweden’s formal accession to the alliance.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan speaks with Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom ahead of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 28, 2023.


Sweden is confident it will finally become a NATO member

Sweden’s top diplomat is optimistic that the nearly year-long delay in his country’s NATO accession caused by Turkey and Hungary will soon be over. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom says that Turkey could approve Sweden’s NATO membership “within weeks,” and he expects Budapest to follow Ankara’s lead.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Russia, September 4, 2023.

Sputnik/Sergei Guneev/Pool via REUTERS

Turkish exports of military-tied goods to Russia skyrocket

Turkish exports of military-tied goods to Russia have spiked this year, sprinkling even more awkwardness atop the already tense state of relations between Ankara and NATO.

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams

REUTERS/Karen Toro

NYC mayor in hot water over Turkey

The mayor of America’s largest city is now ensnared in a scandal involving one of America’s ficklest allies.

Federal agents are currently investigating whether New York Mayor Eric Adams’ campaign violated financing rules during his 2021 run for office – the feds are reportedly focusing on alleged contributions from a Turkish-owned construction company.

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Residents of Constantinople (today: Istanbul, Turkey) celebrate the entry into World War I of the Ottoman Empire in front of the Ministry of War

How the Ottoman collapse led to decades of bloodshed in the Holy Land

Quick, when did the last Roman emperor abdicate power?

Did you say 476 CE? Maybe 1453 for the fans of Byzantium?

You’d be wrong, of course. The last emperor of Rome – or Kayser-i-Rûm, as he would have put it – stepped down exactly 101 years ago today, when Sultan Mehmet VI dissolved the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans had claimed to be successors to the Eastern Roman Empire, which they conquered in the 15th century.

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Turkish lira banknotes are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on June 1, 2022

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Turkey hikes rates, US strikes Syria, France sentences jailbreak legend, Qatar to execute Indians, China cracks cat caper

35: Turkey’s central bank ordered another monster rate hike on Thursday, upping the key lending benchmark by 5 percentage points to 35%. The move comes after a similar increase last month as the Central Bank struggles to tame an annual inflation rate above 60%. Since President Erdogan was reelected in May, he’s allowed the bank to drop his “actually high interest rates cause inflation” approach in favor of a more orthodox hawkish policy.

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Will Israel's ban on UN staff impact peace efforts?
Isreal's UN ban: How is it impacting peace talks in Hamas war? | World In:60 | GZERO Media

Will Israel's ban on UN staff impact peace efforts?

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Is Israel's UN ban a blow to peace efforts?

If it was permanent, I'd say yes as it is. I think we won't be talking about it in a few days. Look, obviously, on the back of these horrific terrorist attacks, everyone in Israel is on edge and more willing to lash out when they hear anything that sounds not 100% aligned with the message they want to hear. I'm empathetic to that, and I expect they're going to back away, especially because the Secretary-General has been consistent in talking about how he has condemned Hamas terrorist attacks. You know, anyone can pick a sentence and cherry-pick it for their purposes. That's what's happened here. I think it's unfortunate. The Global South will certainly align more with the Secretary-General, as they always do. But Antonio then doubled down and clarified his statement on Hamas all the way through. I think this will not be a big deal.

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President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan is holding a press conference during NATO Summit


Turkey finally greenlights Sweden’s entry into NATO

Stockholm is finally within sight of joining NATO after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday submitted a bill to parliament approving Sweden’s membership. There is no set timeline for its passage, but a similar bill for Finland passed in 13 days.

The process had been held up over Ankara’s insistence that Sweden do more to clamp down on the Kurdistan Workers Party, whose armed wing has waged a decades-long insurgency in the eastern highlands. Stockholm promised to involve its intelligence agencies in asylum applications from Turkish Kurds, among other steps, but Ankara remained unsatisfied, dragging the process out.

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