Turkey berates NATO applicant over ‘terrorist propaganda’ — Analysis
Ankara has reportedly summoned Sweden’s top diplomat in the country to vent chagrin over a Kurdish group’s protest in Gothenburg
The top Swedish diplomat in Ankara has reportedly been called on the carpet to hear out the Turkish government’s “strong reaction” to a Kurdish group’s protest in Gothenburg, raising tensions between the countries at a time when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to veto Sweden’s accession to NATO.
Turkey’s foreign ministry summoned Sweden’s interim chief of mission in Ankara to voice its displeasure over this week’s Kurdish protest, which it considered to be “terrorist propaganda,” according to reports by Reuters and multiple Turkish media outlets. These reports referenced unidentified diplomatic sources.
The latest flareup in Stockholm’s relationship with Turkey comes at a time when Erdogan has threatened to block approval for Sweden and Finland to join NATO on concern that the Nordic countries are hosting Kurdish militants. The three countries agreed to a trilateral memorandum last month, in Madrid. It stated that Sweden and Finland would end the embargo on Turkey’s arms sales and will crack down against terrorists and individuals.
“In this context, our expectations for identifying the perpetrators of the action, taking the necessary legal and judicial measures and taking concrete steps in light of the commitments recorded in the tripartite memorandum were emphasized,”Officials from diplomatic missions spoke positively about the Gothenburg protest. It was attended by supporters of PKK and other Kurdish organisations that Turkey has declared terrorist.
Erdogan warned that Turkey could still “freeze” the NATO applications of Sweden and Finland if they don’t fulfill conditions of the Madrid agreement. “Sweden, in particular, does not have a good image on this issue,”He said.
On Wednesday, the Gothenburg protest took place. pictures and videos posted on social media showing demonstrators carrying pro-Kurdish banners, including PKK flags. The group’s flags were also reportedly hoisted on several poles in the center of the city, according to Turrkish media reports, while some of the marchers carried a banner saying, “We are all PKK.”
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