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Turkey summons Swedish envoy over protests against Erdogan

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Ankara: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned Swedish Ambassador Staffan Herrstrom to protest the “terror propaganda” against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The ministry conveyed Turkey’s reaction over the anti-Erdogan protests held by the supporters of Syria’s Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Sweden’s capital Stockholm on Wednesday, the semi-official Anadolu Agency quoted anonymous diplomatic sources as saying on Thursday.

The ambassador was informed that Ankara condemned and protested “this heinous act” and demanded such acts not be allowed, said the report.

Ankara emphasized its expectation that Sweden will fulfill its commitments, it added.

A group of protestors hung a puppet likened to Erdogan by feet and shared its video footage on social media affiliated with the PKK, according to the agency.

Sweden, together with Finland, applied to join NATO in mid-May last year. But Türkiye, a NATO member, objected to the bids by the two Nordic countries, citing their ties with the PKK and YPG, which is regarded by Ankara as the Syrian branch of the PKK.

On June 28 last year, Türkiye, Sweden and Finland reached a memorandum of understanding (MoU) before Ankara lifted its veto ahead of the NATO Madrid summit.

In the MoU, Finland and Sweden pledged to support Türkiye’s fight against terrorism, agreeing to address Ankara’s “pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly.”

The Turkish parliament has not ratified the Nordic countries’ NATO bids yet, citing that they have not met Türkiye’s requests for extraditing anti-Turkish “terrorists,” including members of PKK and YPG.

The PKK, listed as a terror organization by Türkiye, the United States and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades.

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