Swedish PM denounces hanging of Erdogan effigy
Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson condemned on Friday a protest by Kurdish political activists in Stockholm where an effigy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was hanged from a lamppost. The incident was assessed by Swedish officials as an act of sabotage against Sweden's bid to join NATO.
Kristersson told Swedish broadcaster TV4 that it was "extremely serious" to stage a "mock execution of a foreign democratically elected leader" in a country where two leading politicians had been killed. Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated in 1986, and Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was fatally stabbed in 2003.
The protest outside City Hall sparked Ankara's reaction, and Sweden's ambassador to Turkey was summoned by the Turkish Foreign Ministry to convey a message that Stockholm is expected to fulfill its promises in the context of the trilateral deal that had been signed by Sweden, Turkey and Finland in June 2022 to facilitate the two Nordic countries' NATO accession.
The speaker of Turkey’s parliament, Mustafa Sentop, canceled a visit by Andreas Norlen, the speaker of the Swedish Riksdag, that was scheduled for next Tuesday.
Sweden’s NATO application needs to be ratified by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in order for for the Nordic nation to become a member.
“I believe it is regrettable that the visit has been canceled,” Norlen told Swedish news agency TT.
Turkey has made its approval conditional on Stockholm cracking down on Kurdish political activists who are allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), ending its support to Kurdish militia in Northern Syria, and lifting arms embargoes imposed on Turkey after its occupation of Syrian territories in 2019.