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Controversial SADAT CEO speaks against Turkey’s approval of Sweden’s NATO bid

The CEO of SADAT International Defense Consultancy, a company with alleged ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has voiced his opposition to Turkey’s plans to approve Sweden’s NATO membership bid.

SADAT, Turkey’s first domestic military consultancy firm and a paramilitary organization, was established by former Erdoğan aide Adnan Tanrıverdi and 23 retired military officers on Feb. 28, 2012. The CEO of the company is Tanrıverdi’s son, Melih Tanrıverdi.

Melih Tanrıverdi, on the X social media platform on Monday evening, cited a story about Erdoğan’s officially submitting Sweden’s NATO membership application for ratification by the Turkish parliament.

“If this membership is approved, history will not forgive it,” he commented, without elaborating.

Erdoğan denies having ties to the SADAT, prompting opposition figures to rebut his claim with facts that the company’s founder served as his aide while actively working for SADAT and attended high-level Cabinet meetings.

According to SADAT’s founding documents, its mission is to make the Islamic world self-sufficient in terms of military power. Retired general Tanrıverdi said SADAT was set up at the request of officials from Erdoğan’s government.

The company has attracted growing scrutiny over US allegations that it trains Syrians who then are deployed to support pro-Turkish forces in war zones such as Libya.

The Turkish presidency announced on X on Monday that Sweden’s NATO membership protocol was signed on October 23, 2023 by President Erdoğan and sent to the parliament for approval.

Ankara was facing growing pressure from its NATO counterparts to approve Stockholm’s bid to join after well over a year of delay.

Only Turkey and Hungary have yet to ratify Sweden’s membership after Stockholm dropped its long-standing policy of non-alignment to apply in the face of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Erdoğan agreed at a NATO summit in Vilnius in July to put the ratification of Sweden’s membership before his parliament.

Finland, which applied to join NATO at the same time as Sweden, was granted membership in April.

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