Turkey will oppose Sweden’s membership in NATO after Stockholm protest sees Quran burned

Streaming HUBJanuary 23, 2023

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will oppose Sweden’s bid to join NATO this weekend, citing pro-Kurdish protests in Stockholm.

Turkey has long blamed Sweden for its toleration of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a group Turkey, the US and the European Union have condemned as a terrorist organization. Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan burned a Quran outside the Turkish embassy during a protest this weekend, and the PKK joined other pro-Kurdish groups in a separate protest.

Erdogan said on Monday, “It is clear that those who allowed such despicability to happen in front of our embassy can no longer expect any donations from us regarding their NATO membership application.” “So you’re going to let terrorist organizations run wild in your avenues and streets and then expect our support to join NATO. That’s not happening.”

“They will not see any support from us on the NATO issue,” he said, “unless Sweden starts respecting Turkey’s views.”

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference on May 14, 2022 in Ankara, Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference on May 14, 2022 in Ankara, Turkey.
(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilisi)

A demonstrator prepares to jump over a banner with the image of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a demonstration organized by the Kurdish Democratic Society Center in Sweden, as Sweden prepares to join NATO, in Stockholm, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. Seeks Turkey's approval. (Kristine Olsson/TT News Agency via AP)

A demonstrator prepares to jump over a banner with the image of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a demonstration organized by the Kurdish Democratic Society Center in Sweden, as Sweden prepares to join NATO, in Stockholm, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. Seeks Turkey’s approval. (Kristine Olsson/TT News Agency via AP)

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Sweden and Finland were invited to join NATO in 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, each new member must be approved by unanimous consent, and Turkey is the only country to oppose Sweden’s membership.

The PKK has been operating as a rebel group in northern Syria troubling Turkey for decades.

Sweden announced changes to its anti-terror laws in June 2022 in an attempt to address Turkey’s concerns, but Erdogan was not satisfied.

Erdogan last week demanded that Sweden deport about 130 PKK members it considers terrorists.

Andreas, 39, a member of the Swedish Solidarity Committee for Rojava is seen next to a car carrying an effigy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on January 16, 2023 in Stockholm, Sweden. - His action put another hurdle in Sweden's efforts to join NATO and the actions of pro-Kurdish activists hanged on January 11, 2023, an effigy of Turkey's president in Stockholm argues his "provocation" It was in the name of free speech. (Photo by Jonathan Nakstrand / AFP)

Andreas, 39, a member of the Swedish Solidarity Committee for Rojava is seen next to a car carrying an effigy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on January 16, 2023 in Stockholm, Sweden. – His action added another hurdle to Sweden’s efforts to join NATO and on January 11, 2023, pro-Kurdish activists hanged an effigy of Turkey’s president in Stockholm, arguing that their “provocation” was free It was in the name of speech. (Photo by Jonathan Nakstrand / AFP)
(Photo by Jonathan Nakstrand/AFP via Getty Images)

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They said, ‘We said look, if you don’t hand over your terrorists to us, we can’t pass this [approval of the NATO application] Through parliament anyway,” Erdogan said at the time. “For this to pass parliament, first of all, you have to hand over 100 of these, about 130 terrorists to us.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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