Contact Us

Türkiye urges Sweden to take steps against terrorists 'without further delay': Official

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the targeting of Türkiye and its democratically elected president by members of the terrorist organization PKK in Sweden. We urge the Swedish authorities to take necessary steps against terrorist groups without further delay," Türkiye's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said Thursday on Twitter.

Anadolu Agency TÜRKIYE
Published January 12,2023

Ankara strongly condemns the supporters of the PKK/YPG terror group in Sweden that continued their provocations against Türkiye and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the country's communications director said on Thursday.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the targeting of Türkiye and its democratically elected president by members of the terrorist organization PKK in Sweden. We urge the Swedish authorities to take necessary steps against terrorist groups without further delay," Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter.

Altun's remarks came after terror supporters gathered in front of the historical City Hall in the capital Stockholm, hung a puppet -- likened to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan -- by the feet on a pole in front of the building and shared video footage of the moment on social media.

Footage posted later on a social media account affiliated with the terror group showed that threats targeting Türkiye and Erdoğan were made with Turkish subtitles.

"Sweden needs to keep the promises, which it made in Madrid, to join NATO-of which Türkiye has been a member for 70 years. It would be futile to expect Türkiye to make any concessions in that regard.

"That PKK terrorist can challenge the Swedish government at the heart of Stockholm is proof that the Swedish authorities have not taken necessary steps against terrorism-as they have been claiming in recent days," Altun said.


Vice President Fuat Oktay "cursed" the demonstration in Sweden by the members of the "treacherous" terrorist organization and voiced expectations for Sweden to keep its promises under NATO membership initiatives and not tolerate such attempts.

"These events have once again shown Türkiye's legitimate concerns to the world public opinion. No democratic state of law can be expected to turn a blind eye to such an unlawful demonstration.

"We expect the Swedish authorities to take legal action immediately against terrorist groups and their supporters who committed these unacceptable acts," Oktay said on Twitter.

Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın also condemned the "heinous" act in Sweden.

"We conveyed our reaction and expectation to the Swedish authorities. Taking concrete steps is a requirement of the law and our agreement," Kalın said.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Staffan Herrstrom, the Swedish ambassador in Ankara, to convey the country's reaction to the propaganda demonstration.

"The Ambassador was informed with strong expressions that we strongly condemn and protest this heinous act and demanded that such terrorist acts, which are a clear violation of Sweden's commitments with the tripartite testament, and which openly threaten our country, should not be allowed," said Turkish diplomatic sources.

Herrstrom was also told that Türkiye expects the perpetrators of the act to be identified, that necessary actions be taken and that Sweden fulfills its commitments under the tripartite deal signed last year under NATO auspices, the sources added.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said PKK/YPG supporters have been continuing their terrorist propaganda in Stockholm targeting both Erdoğan and Türkiye, adding: "Of course, allowing this is unacceptable and we condemn it.

Speaking to A Haber News Channel, Çavuşoğlu noted: "This is not just an attack on our president. It is an attack on whole Türkiye."

Reminding that Herrstrom was summoned to the ministry to show necessary reaction, Çavuşoğlu said: "Likewise, our ambassador in Stockholm (Yönet Can Tezel) took the necessary initiatives in Stockholm. We have emphasized that we condemn this despicable act and being a mere spectator, and that those responsible should be found and punished immediately.

Separately, speaking to national broadcaster TRT Haber, Çavuşoğlu said NATO allies need to understand Türkiye's security concerns.

"What are their expectations from us? Our approval of NATO memberships. Currently candidate country. Such a thing is not possible. (It's) Clear. Of course, we will continue our fight against terrorism with determination inside and outside.

"... But if this country does not take the necessary steps, does not keep its promises, does not fulfill the obligations under the treaty, then it should not expect anything from us," he added.

Çavuşoğlu stressed that everyone, including NATO, needs to react to this, saying: "This is not freedom of expression. Insulting, provoking the leader of a country in this way. While doing this, they are also making terrorist propaganda."

For his part, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also strongly condemned the "heinous" act against President Erdoğan of a 70-year-old NATO member country, saying: "We call on Sweden to take immediate action."

In response to the provocations in Stockholm, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop canceled his Swedish counterpart Andreas Norlen's visit to Türkiye which had been scheduled for Jan. 17.

Meanwhile, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said on Twitter that the government safeguards an open debate about political choices but strongly repudiates threats and hate directed toward political representatives.

"The portrayal of an executed elected President outside City Hall is deplorable," Billstrom added.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in May, abandoning decades of military non-alignment, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24.

But Türkiye-a NATO member for more than 70 years-voiced objections, accusing the two countries of tolerating and even supporting terror groups, including the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

Last June, Türkiye and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum at a NATO summit to address Ankara's legitimate security concerns, paving the way for their eventual membership in the alliance.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the EU, and the U.S., and is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG-which also has a presence in Europe, openly sanctioned by several governments-is the terrorist PKK's Syrian branch.


Speaking to national broadcaster TRT Haber, Altun urged Sweden to fulfill its obligations under the NATO deal.

"We make a call to the Swedish authorities once again: Take the necessary steps against the members of this terrorist organization immediately, without delay, and fulfill the demands that we have expressed very concretely at this point," Altun said.

Stressing that Türkiye is resolutely fighting terrorist organizations for regional peace and security, Altun said Ankara expects the countries to take action against terrorism.

"Unfortunately, we have seen for a long time that Western countries, European countries, when it comes to terrorism, prefer to support terrorist organizations instead of supporting their allies, Türkiye, against terrorism. By patronizing terrorist organizations, they essentially betray their own social peace and global peace," he added.

This action could have happened in another city in Europe, Altun said, adding that Türkiye would have given them the same response "very clearly" and condemned them harshly.

President Erdoğan insistently warns European countries to take steps against terrorist organizations which are not only a threat to Türkiye but also to the whole world.

About a question of whether this terrorist organization's act is an attempt to sabotage Sweden's NATO membership process, Altun said: "First of all, it is the Swedish Government that has to answer this question."

"Those who did this, say: 'We do not want Sweden to join NATO.' But, they are not our interlocutors. Our interlocutor is the Swedish government," he added.