Swedish comedian accused by Ankara of insulting Erdogan quits show
Swedish comedian Kristoffer Ahonen Appelquist, who was earlier accused by Turkish authorities of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, quit his position as the host of Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT’s satirical program “Svenska Nyheter.”
Appelquist said on Twitter: ”Tonight's "Svenska Nyheter" will be my last. Thanks for watching, cheering, and arguing!”
In an Instagram post, he said:
“I love my job and it was not an easy decision to turn down another season, but I have done it now. I will miss my wise, smart and funny editor. What I won’t miss is the eternal stress of getting Friday’s program together,” adding that he wants to have more time for his family. He wished the editors good luck on their continued journey.
The weekly "Svenska Nyheter" ("Swedish News" in English) presented by Appelquist routinely makes fun of Swedish and international politicians.
In the episode broadcasted on September 30, Appelquist criticized President Erdogan's demand for the extradition of Kurdish activists allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in exchange for Turkey's green light to Sweden's NATO membership. Kadir Meral, who was invited to the program, mocked Erdogan on various issues as he presented the program in Kurdish.
It is not known whether Appelquist's decision to quit is connected to Erdogan, and did not mention Erdogan or Turkey in his statement.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry had summoned the Swedish envoy in early October over Appelquist’s “insulting comments and visuals” about Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 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."