Sweden’s bid for NATO membership faces a dead end after a far-right rally burned the Koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.
Sweden’s bid for NATO membership is up in the air amid strained relations with Turkey over Turkey’s demands to extradite Kurdish activists and prevent rallies from attacking its leadership.
Tensions reached a climax on Saturday when the leader of a far-right Danish party burned a Koran during a protest outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.
Ahead of the rally, Ankara said it would cancel a visit by the Swedish Defense Minister aimed at overcoming Turkey’s opposition to NATO membership, and Turkey’s foreign minister had called for a ban on the rally.
Sweden needs Turkey’s help to join NATO amid growing unrest in Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Here are some recent relations between Turkey and Spain.
May 12, 2022
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin have announced that Finland must apply “without delay” to join the NATO military alliance.
May 13, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it would be impossible for Turkey to support Sweden and Finland joining the Transatlantic Military Alliance, suggesting there could be obstacles to their plans to join. There is
May 15, 2022
The Finnish government has officially announced its intention to join NATO. The Swedish ruling party soon followed suit.
May 16, 2022
Erdogan confirmed Turkey’s opposition to Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership and rejected the Nordic countries’ proposal to send a delegation to Ankara to address the issue.
“We don’t say yes to them [countries] Erdogan said at a news conference, referring to Sweden’s 2019 decision to halt arms sales to Turkey over military operations in neighboring Syria.
Turkey has also accused both countries of harboring “terrorist” groups, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and has been blacklisted by Turkey, the European Union and the US.
A Justice Department source told the state-run Anadolu news agency on Monday that Sweden and Finland have not responded positively to Turkey’s 33 extradition requests over the past five years.
May 18, 2022
Finland and Sweden have formally applied to join the world’s largest military alliance. The move requires the unanimous approval of the Alliance’s current 30 members. This process was expected to take about two weeks.
June 28, 2022
Turkey has lifted its veto on Finnish and Swedish NATO bids after four hours of talks just before the NATO summit in Madrid.
Turkey’s Justice Minister said as part of the deal, Turkey will seek the extradition of 33 Kurdish fighters and coup plot suspects from Sweden and Finland.
December 19, 2022
Sweden’s Supreme Court has blocked the extradition of a Turkish journalist in exile. This is a major request of the Turkish government.
The court said there were “several obstacles” to sending back former Zaman editor-in-chief Brent Kenneth, whom Turkey has accused of involvement in an attempt to overthrow Erdogan in 2016.
December 22, 2022
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sweden had fallen short of half of the promises it made to secure Turkey’s support for membership.
He said the Swedish court’s decision not to extradite a man wanted by Turkey for alleged involvement in a failed coup in 2016 had “poisoned” the positive atmosphere of the negotiations.
January 8, 2023
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Christersson has said Sweden cannot meet Turkey’s demands, but he is confident Turkey will approve its bid to join NATO.
January 12, 2023
Turkey summoned the Swedish ambassador to respond to a video posted by Sweden’s pro-Kurdish Rojava committee showing an Erdogan statue swinging its legs from a rope.
A January 11 tweet by the group likened Erdogan to Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
January 21, 2023
Turkish authorities have condemned right-wing Swedish-Danish politician Rasmus Pardan for being given permission to stage a protest in front of the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital.
After nearly an hour of denunciations of him attacking Islam and immigrants in Sweden, Pardan set fire to a copy of the Quran.
Swedish police allowed the demonstration after determining it fell under the country’s liberal free speech law. However, Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish president, said allowing the protests “encourages hate crimes and Islamophobia.”
A group of protesters then set fire to Swedish flags at a rally outside the Istanbul consulate and called on Turkey to cut diplomatic ties with Stockholm.
A day after summoning the Swedish ambassador over Paldan’s latest demonstrations, Ankara canceled a visit by Defense Minister Pal Johnson scheduled for Jan. 27, aimed at overcoming Turkish opposition to Sweden’s NATO bid. said he did.