The Politico newspaper said that Türkiye’s attempt to trade Sweden’s membership in NATO for membership in the European Union has no chance, noting that European Union leaders are once again preparing to work with Türkiye.

The latest round came from the geopolitical brinkmanship policy launched by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with a new turn this week, by linking his support for Sweden’s attempt to join the alliance with Türkiye’s request to join the European Union.

While describing the move as bold and surprising even close observers, Politico said that there is no chance of that happening anytime soon.

Politico indicated that many European Union leaders and officials made a careful public presentation to deal with Erdoğan’s request seriously, and pledged to explore ways to revive Türkiye’s moribund accession to the European Union, and to work more closely with the country in the meantime, but it saw that as a serious possibility, it was ignored.

Membership of the European Union almost immediately, due to the fact that there are many reasons for the rejectionist tone.

However, the European Union knows that it must work with Türkiye, which is a vital neighbor and bridge with Russia, Asia and the Middle East, and while membership is off the table, officials are thinking about where they can cooperate more with Türkiye, and this is what Erdoğan sees as a victory.

“If something moves, and it’s unlikely, that is good,” according to what Politico newspaper quoted a former official in the European Commission, who spoke anonymously to describe the delicate relationship, saying that “if this is not the case, Erdoğan will have Another reason to stoke nationalism”.

While a series of coups and economic and political instability have brought the issue of integration between Türkiye and the European Union to the fore, according to what a Turkish official who spoke anonymously to describe the dynamics explicitly said, “If it weren’t for those coups, we would probably be a member of the European Union”.

Politico discussed the talks that will take place in the next week, in which the European Union foreign ministers will begin and delve into this conversation, noting that before these talks, the European Union’s diplomatic service presented its ideas in a memorandum document seen by Politico newspaper, and the memo confirms that Türkiye’s membership bid is lifeless – a fact that won’t change any time soon.

However, the memorandum indicates that the Russian military operation in Ukraine increased Türkiye’s geopolitical importance, and it adds – according to the memorandum – that the European Union has a strategic interest in a stable and secure environment in the eastern Mediterranean, and this could make Türkiye beneficial to the European Union.

The European Union memorandum also says that Türkiye also wants to involve the European Union, and that despite the policies that have pushed Türkiye away from the European Union in recent years, Türkiye insists that joining the European Union is a strategic goal, according to the memorandum, and that one of the options being considered in principle is the renewal of the customs union between the European Union and Türkiye, so that the customs union facilitates trade between the two partners, but it is in dire need of modernization to reflect changes in technology and global supply chains.

The memorandum argued that, however, Türkiye’s sacred goal is visa liberalization, which would grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel to the European bloc for extended periods, and free Turkish citizens from the arduous process they must undergo just to cross into the European Union.

The European memorandum also pointed to the other possibility, which is the revival of the so-called “dialogue between the European Union and Türkiye,” which was suspended in 2021.

According to Politico, restarting such high-level dialogues may be an easy sell to EU leaders, which will allow the European Union to open channels with the Turkish president without prejudice to the possibility of membership in the European Union.

Either way, Politico concluded, both sides know they’re stuck in a diplomatic gambit — whether they like it or not, and both will continue to maneuver for influence.

Last Wednesday, Erdoğan confirmed that his country won’t ratify Sweden’s membership in NATO before next October, justifying this with the concerns of the Turkish Parliament and its entry into a recess for two months, which delays the expected accession of Sweden.

The Turkish president indicated, “There are many international agreements and many legislative proposals that need to be discussed… We’ll consider them according to their importance, but our goal is to end this process as soon as possible”.

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