Turkey summons Swedish ambassador over “insulting content” about President Erdogan on TV show

Turkey summons Swedish ambassador over “insulting content” about President Erdogan on TV show
Update: 06 October 2022 01:27
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Swedish public broadcaster SVT’s mocking Erdogan prompted strong criticism from Ankara

Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Swedish envoy over “insulting comments and visuals” about Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aired on Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT.

Turkey’s “strong reaction” was conveyed to Swedish ambassador Staffan Herrström on Wednesday, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency said, citing diplomatic sources, without identifying any names. 

Swedish envoy was told that “impudent and ugly expressions and images against our President and our country are unacceptable and it is not possible to explain such publications with the freedom of expression and press," Anadolu said.

The relations between Turkey and Sweden have soured in recent months following the Scandinavian country’s application for NATO membership, along with Finland. While the vast majority of NATO members welcomed Stockholm and Helsinki’s bids, Turkey, the second largest army in the alliance, opposed the two countries’ joining the alliance, citing their failure to combat threats to Turkey’s security.

The weekly "Swedish News", routinely makes fun of Swedish and international politicians, according to Reuters. 

During the episode that prompted Turkey’s protest, the comic news show mocked Erdogan over human rights abuses and ended the segment by shouting, "Long live democracy," Reuters said.

Last week, Turkey also summoned the German Ambassador to denounce a senior German lawmaker’s likening President Erdogan to a “sewer rat.” 

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in October 2021, condemned Article 299, stating that it should be changed to ensure that people have the freedom of expression without intervention from authorities.