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HS: Turkish parliament unlikely to discuss Finland Nato bid on Wednesday

HS: Turkish parliament unlikely to discuss Finland Nato bid on Wednesday
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Wednesday, 29 March, 2023, 21:00

Turkey's parliament is unlikely to debate or vote on Finland's application to join the Nato military alliance on Wednesday, despite earlier reports that the matter was on the day's agenda.

Ahmet Ünal Çeviköz, an MP with Turkey's largest opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), told Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat(siirryt toiseen palveluun) that other items will take precedence over the Finnish Nato discussion on Wednesday.

Yle later received confirmation that Finland and Nato are not on Wednesday's parliamentary agenda.

Turkish MPs are however expected to discuss and vote on the proposal to ratify Finland's membership this week.

Reporting from Anakara, Yle's foreign correspondent Mika Mäkeläinen said that a number of factors are behind the Turkish parliament's scheduling uncertainty. The parliament can spend several hours on procedural debates, Mäkeläinen said, making it difficult to predict when a vote on a particular issue will be held.

In addition, some Turkish MPs are currently observing the Islamic tradition of fasting during the month of Ramadan, meaning parliamentary plenary sessions usually end at 6:30pm so that parliamentarians can eat. This gives parliament less time to debate extra matters.

Furthermore, Mäkeläinen noted that with Turkey set to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on 14 May, MPs are continually adding new items to the agenda for discussion and debate.

Turkey is now the last remaining country of Nato's 30 current member states yet to ratify Finland's application to join the alliance, following a green light from the Hungarian parliament on Monday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced two weeks ago that his country will begin the process of ratifying Finland's application to join Nato two weeks ago, but no exact date was provided.