Turkish presidential spokesperson abandons interview with Swedish TV
İbrahim Kalin, the spokesperson for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, abruptly ended an interview with Swedish journalist Diamant Salihu and accused him of not practicing honest journalism and having a “different agenda,” Stockholm Center for Freedom reported.
Salihu, who traveled to Turkey for research on Swedish criminals who are living in Turkey and wanted by the Swedish police, recently had a meeting with Kalın. Salihu reminded Kalin that there are many drug dealers and crime gang members living in Turkey who are wanted by the Swedish police and asked if Turkey is becoming a new center for drug dealers.
“In principle, we don’t protect or hide criminals. If you’re implying that Turkey somehow provides a haven for such people or protects them, it’s completely baseless, completely outrageous, to make such a claim,’’ Kalin said, angered by the question, said in English,
Kalin also accused Salihu of having a ‘’different agenda’’ and making baseless accusations against Turkey about having mobsters and cocaine smugglers on its soil.
Kalin didn’t let Salihu continue and said, “That is the PKK speaking, that is FETO speaking. That is not honest journalism,” and halted the interview, saying he didn’t want to continue.
FETO is an acronym used by the government to label the Gulen movement, which Turkish authorities accuse of being behind the coup attempt of 2016.
Sweden and Turkey have recently had meetings regarding Sweden’s efforts to join NATO, with Ankara accusing Stockholm of harboring political dissidents who are labelled as “terrorists” by Turkey.
Turkey is threatening to block Sweden and Finland join NATO unless they extradite dozens of people Ankara accuses of “terrorism,” including journalists living in exile.
Saliuha claimed that despite Kalın’s denials, more than 10 persons wanted by Sweden have been living in Turkey for years, including murderers and cocaine smugglers.