The protest included supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Sweden, which is classified as “terrorist” according to Ankara.
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Stockholm on Sunday to protest Sweden’s accession to NATO. The protest included supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Sweden, which is classified as a “terrorist” according to Ankara.
This comes as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss Sweden’s accession to the military alliance.
Ankara has accused Stockholm of failing to take concrete steps to crack down on groups it considers terrorist or an existential threat, including Kurdish groups.
In the same context, Stoltenberg announced Sunday, after a two-hour meeting with Erdogan in Istanbul, that “Sweden has fulfilled its obligations” towards Ankara in preparation for joining the alliance.
Turkey has been blocking Sweden’s accession to NATO for thirteen months, under the pretext of being lenient with Kurdish activists it hosts on its soil.
Stoltenberg noted that “the time has come for this (accession) to happen before the Vilnius summit” scheduled for July 11-12, when the 31 NATO heads of state meet.
Stoltenberg announced the establishment of a “permanent mechanism” between NATO and Turkey and the next meeting “on June 12”, without specifying the venue.
The Secretary-General of NATO attended Erdogan’s inauguration ceremony in Ankara after his re-election on May 28 for an additional five years at the head of the country, and “thanked Turkey” for deploying reinforcements in Kosovo, which is experiencing violent unrest.
Turkey participates in the NATO-led multinational “KFOR” force in Kosovo.