AP | , Posted by Lingam Gunta Narmatha Rao.
Sweden should not expect support for NATO membership after weekend protests in Stockholm by anti-Islam activist and pro-Kurdish groups, Turkey’s president said Monday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized Rasmus Paludan Quran burning protest He said on Saturday that it is an insult to everyone, especially Muslims. He also criticized the Swedish authorities for allowing the demonstration outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.
Erdogan also criticized Sweden over pro-Kurdish protests where demonstrators waved the flags of various Kurdish groups, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged a decades-long insurgency against Turkey. 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’s not happening,” Erdogan said, referring to Sweden and Finland’s accession bids for a military alliance. He said. He said that if Sweden will not respect Turkey or Muslims, they will not see any support from us on the NATO issue.
Turkey is blocking historic NATO bids by the Nordic countries.