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Turkey does not want the Swedes in NATO.  A picture of the Minister of Foreign Affairs explains why.

Turkey does not want the Swedes in NATO. A picture of the Minister of Foreign Affairs explains why.

Istanbul (Aftenposten): Turkey accuses Sweden and Finland of harboring terrorists. But it is mostly about Swedes.

In December, Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde (left) met Kurdish Ilhan Ahmed (centre, right) in Stockholm. You provoked Turkey.

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In December, Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Lind posted a message on Twitter.

Sincere discussion with Ilham Ahmed from the Syrian Democratic Council on the situation in northeastern Syria is appreciated. Sweden remains an active partner,” she wrote and attached a photo from the meeting in Stockholm.

The woman Lindy is referring to, Ilham Ahmed, is one of the senior representatives of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC).

What they should do with Turkey, we will return to it immediately.

But the photo says a lot about why Turkey this week blocked the historic applications of Sweden and Finland to join NATO.

Close links

Swedish support for the regime in northern Syria has Provocation of Turkish politicians for many years.

To understand why, some background is needed.

Wait, because here are several shortcuts:

  • SDCTo which Ilhan Ahmed belongs, it is the political wing of a militia group called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).sd). These forces control northeastern Syria.
  • The militia with the largest force in the Syrian Democratic Forces is called YPG. This is a Kurdish militia supported, among other things, by the United States.
  • The YPG has been a very important ally of the West in the fight against ISIS in Syria.
  • Turkey is not very satisfied with this. Turkey believes that the YPG is a pariah from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).Kurdistan workers’ party).
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Here we are at the center of the conflict: the PKK has been at war with Turkey since the mid-1980s. Thousands of Turkish civilians were killed in PKK attacks.

This is why the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, like Turkey, have put the PKK on terror.

But the West refuses to do the same with the YPG.

Thus, the fact that the Swedish foreign minister publicly expresses support for a group that Turkey believes has close ties to the PKK, is unacceptable to the Turks.

big kurdish environment

But the resentment runs deeper.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Sweden granted political asylum to many Kurds who fled when the conflict between the PKK and Turkey destroyed the worst, says Nerina Weiss. She examines Kurdish activism and conflict in Turkey in Favo.

Today, between 60,000-100,000 Kurds live in Sweden. The number is uncertain because Statistics Sweden does not keep figures on ethnicity.

Many Kurdish communities throughout Europe have succeeded in continuing the political struggle for Kurdish rights outside Turkey.

Weiss explains that the Kurds in Sweden are among the most politically influential in Europe.

A large part of the politicization in Turkey has taken place through the diaspora in Europe. President Erdogan does not like that.

Diaspora is a term referring to ethnic groups who live in countries other than their countries of origin.

Weiss also says that some moves to the armed struggle have taken place from abroad.

– The problem is everyone It says that Kurdish activity in the diaspora is considered by Turkey as support for the armed struggle of the PKK.

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Weiss notes that the PKK was not designated a terrorist by the United States and the European Union until 2001. By that time, there were already many Kurds in Sweden.

– Leading the armed PKK fighting today in the mountains of Iraq. She says the Kurdish cultural elite lives in Sweden.

with or against

Turkish expert Einar Wigen also points out that much of the challenge is that Erdogan does not distinguish between Kurdish activists and terrorists.

-Turkish politicians participate in painting the whole of the Kurdish opposition with the broad brush of the PKK, says Wigen.

He believes that the “for or against” logic has evolved. If you are not an outspoken opponent of the armed struggle of the PKK, you can quickly be described as an sympathizer.

Weiss agrees that this is a complex issue.

– There are many who sympathize with the PKK, without making themselves guilty of terrorism. She admits that it is a difficult distinction.

– But the problem is that Erdogan does not differentiate at all.

Requires delivery of the dead man

On Friday, Foreign Secretary Anne Lind released one New Twitter message It stated that in 1984 Sweden was the first country after Turkey to designate the PKK as a terrorist organization.

However, President Erdogan does not appear to want to surrender immediately.

He has sent a number of applications to Sweden and Finland. Among other things, they handed over 33 people whom Turkey calls “terrorists”.

Someone died seven years ago Swedish Radio.

Weiss thinks the Nordic countries are unlikely to agree to any deliveries.

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– He’s a very difficult politician, she says. Weiss notes that Sweden has, among other things, five parliamentarians of Kurdish origin.

– I’m very excited about how Sweden and Finland are going to deal with this.