AP | , Posted by Lingamgunta Nirmitha Rao
The Turkish president said on Monday that Sweden should not expect support for NATO membership after weekend protests in Stockholm by an anti-Islam activist and pro-Kurdish groups.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Rasmus Paludan’s Quran-burning protest on Saturday, saying it was an insult to everyone, especially Muslims. He also criticized Swedish authorities for allowing the demonstration outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.
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Erdogan also criticized Sweden for pro-Kurdish protests in which protesters waved flags of various Kurdish groups, including the Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has been waging insurgency against Turkey for decades. The PKK is considered a terrorist group in Turkey, the European Union and the United States, but its symbols are not banned in Sweden.
“So you let terrorist organizations run wild and then expect our support to join NATO. That will not happen,” Erdogan said, referring to Sweden and Finland’s entry bids for the military alliance. He said that if Sweden shows no respect for Turkey or Muslims, “they will not see any support from us in the NATO issue.”
Turkey is blocking historic NATO bids from the Nordic countries.