The Turkish parliament voted in favor of Finland’s NATO-membership on Thursday. Now the membership can proceed, as it its accepted by all the countries that are part of NATO. Sweden was left to the shore, even though initially the two Nordic countries vowed to go hand in hand. The parliament voted for the membership unanimously. In the Turkish parliament, the HDP (The People’s Democratic Party), which often supports the Kurdish, is among those who have for a long time been for the NATO-membership of Finland and Sweden.
“NATO is a tool of US imperialism – today the sole hegemonic superpower – for its hegemony, directed principally against the oppressed nations, conforming to the principal contradiction in the world, and secondarily it is characterized by the inter-imperialist contradictions, mainly against atomic superpower of Russian imperialism”, says the joint statement of four Nordic anti-imperialist organizations from February 2023.
The statement goes on: “To understand the Swedish and Finnish NATO processes, we need to see the interests of US imperialism, that is, it needs to counter-act the Russian aggression in order to consolidate its gains in the so-called Eastern Europe after the collapse of Soviet social-imperialism in the beginning of 90s, and in this it is also in competition with its European NATO “allies”, especially German imperialism. On the other hand, US imperialism is shifting its focus to the East Asia to combat Chinese imperialism, trying to contain its aspirations, and for this the US needs a secure base in Europe. Hence it is US imperialism’s need to strengthen NATO’s “Eastern Flank” by incorporating Sweden and Finland.”
Finland’s NATO-membership is valuable to US imperialism, as it has long border (over 1300 km) with Russia, a conscription-based military and a relatively large reserve in European standards. Among the Nordic countries, it has a much larger reserve than others. The Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat celebrates the membership and writes that what makes Finland different is that it is “prepared for a large scale war” and that it has a “particular culture of warfare” against Russia. This is something that will affect the internal contradictions of NATO. Additionally, the approval of Finland but not Sweden is a blow to the so-called “Nordic unity”, a part of the “divide et impera” strategy of US imperialism.
This policy is especially in regards to Germany. In Europe, German imperialism tried to challenge the USA. Three days after the war of aggression on Ukraine started, German imperialism announced that a 100 billion euro fund would be created to make Germany the most powerful in Europe. In February, it presented the first “National Security Strategy”, which promotes the militarization and rearming of the State, and clearly states the goal of challenging US imperialism in Europe. Even though it has formally supported the official goals of NATO against Russia, it has been hesitant in doing so, as the sanctions and other measures harm also its interests. This was seen very clearly, when Germany at first refused to deliver heavy weaponry to Ukraine, and even blocked for example Estonia from doing so.
Turkey is a country where a people’s war has been waged by the TKP/ML for decades. The old State of Turkey has been raising its concerns over “terrorism” and demanded Finland and Sweden to tighten their “terrorism laws” as well as to deport those who have fled Turkey for political persecution to be convicted. Erdoğan has claimed that the reason why Sweden was not accepted was that it still has too lax “anti-terrorism” laws. However, Sweden just passed a constitutional change, which makes it easier to convict people of “terrorist” crimes. This law change was already presented in 2016, and it required the consent of two parliaments, so the first vote was held already before the NATO membership application. In the spirit of the negotiations, this law goes as far as to forbid “the disclosing of information which can hurt the relations of Sweden to other states or to an international organization”. Other than this, already in 2020 Sweden passed new laws which for example made it a terrorist crime to support organizations officially deemed terrorist in any way (for example, by providing accommodation). Finland has also “reformed” their “anti-terrorist” laws similarly in 2021, but major changes have not been made after the NATO-application. Other than this, both of the countries have been policing demonstrations: for example, the police has run for the rescue of dolls portraying Erdoğan in demonstrations.
Turkey is an oppressed nation subjected mainly to Yankee imperialism, and therefore the interests of it also direct the maneuvers of Turkey. The negotiations and slowing down of the NATO-membership process of Sweden and Finland therefore serve the interests of the USA. In January, US announced it wants to negotiate about the sell of modernized F-16 fighter planes to Turkey. Turkey was kicked out from the F-35 program in 2019 after it bought missiles from Russia. Other than that, election is coming up in Turkey and the internal situation is complicated in the aftermath of the earthquake, and Erdoğan desperately needs the US to support his regime.
The anti-imperialist organizations conclude: “it is not a question of defending the imperialistic and false “Nordic neutrality”, as the revisionists do, but to struggle for overthrowing the rotten imperialist order, which is essentially oppressive, reactionarizing and genocidal.”