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Turkish Foreign Minister urged Stockholm "Don’t try to cheat" Ankara

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Ankara, January 17 – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Stockholm not to “try to deceive” Ankara, citing various reasons for the work of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Sweden.
Earlier, the Anadolu Agency, citing Turkish Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag, wrote that Sweden could not expect Turkey’s support for NATO membership, ignoring terrorist provocations. Bozdag’s statement came against the background of a rally organized in Stockholm by supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), during which a number of insulting statements and gestures were made against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After these events, the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, Mustafa Sentop, canceled the scheduled visit of his Swedish colleague to Ankara. The Turkish president’s lawyer submitted a request to the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the lawsuit, and a criminal case was initiated. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström said the PKK’s move risks complicating the ratification process for Ankara’s application for Sweden’s accession to NATO.
“The prosecution’s decision not to investigate this act is absurd. Who is doing this act? Terrorists.. This is with terrorist propaganda.. They are talking about freedom of expression.. Is this racist provocation? Attacking? Yes, it is. Let them answer what If racism is a crime in Sweden. No one should deceive us. No one tells us that ‘there is freedom of speech in Sweden, it is not a crime.’ It’s a crime of “racism and hatred,” Cavusoglu said in a joint meeting with an Iranian colleague at a press conference on Tuesday in Ankara.

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On May 18, 2022, Finland and Sweden, against the backdrop of events in Ukraine, submitted requests to the NATO Secretary General to join the Alliance. Erdogan said that Ankara cannot say “yes” to Finland and Sweden’s membership in the alliance, because it does not believe their assurances about relations with representatives of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey. Later, following the results of the negotiations with the Turkish side, the representatives of Sweden and Finland stated that the two countries would cooperate with Ankara in the fight against terrorism and pledged not to support the PKK. Turkey withdrew its objections to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, but Erdoğan later said that Ankara would not consider in parliament approving Sweden and Finland’s requests to join NATO if they failed to fulfill their obligations. So far, the applications of Sweden and Finland for NATO membership have not been ratified by only two of the 30 countries – Hungary and Turkey.

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