Ahead of anti-Turkish protests in Sweden, Turkey cancels Swedish defense minister’s visit

Turkey announced on Saturday January 21 that it had canceled a planned visit by the Swedish defense minister, after Stockholm authorized an anti-Turkish demonstration in the country’s capital, which is to be held during the day. ” Visit [de] Pal Jonson in Turkey on January 27 has lost meaning and meaning, so we have canceled the visit”said Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. The purpose of this visit was to try to remove Ankara’s objections to Sweden’s entry into NATO.

The authorization given to a Swedish-Danish right-wing extremist, Rasmus Paludan, to demonstrate on Saturday in front of the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital aroused the anger of Ankara. Rasmus Paludan expressed his intention to “Burn the Quran” in front of the legation. A pro-Kurdish demonstration is also planned in Sweden on Saturday. On Friday, Turkey summoned the Swedish ambassador to Ankara to “condemn this provocative action, which clearly constitutes a hate crime, in the strongest terms”according to a diplomatic source.

Mannequin hanged

It was the second time in a matter of days that Sweden’s representative in Ankara had been summoned by the foreign ministry, following the release last week of a video showing a hanged mannequin named as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This staging was carried out by a group close to the Rojava committee, an organization that supports the Kurds of Syria.

Turkey has been blocking Sweden and Finland’s entry into NATO since May 2022, accusing them of harboring Kurdish militants and sympathizers whom it treats as “terrorists”, including those of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its allies in northern Syria and Iraq. For Ankara, any possible progress depends on Swedish initiatives to extradite people accused of terrorism by Turkey or having taken part in the 2016 coup attempt against Mr Erdogan.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers NATO membership: Sweden annoys Turkey’s demands

The World with AFP

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