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Turkiye launches investigation into Erdogan effigy hung outside Stockholm city hall
Turkish media claims that the effigy incident may impact Turkiye's decision to approve Sweden's ascension to NATO
By News Desk - January 13 2023
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(Photo Credit: Reuters)

On 13 January, Turkish authorities opened an inquiry into a recent incident in Sweden where an effigy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was hung over Stockholm’s city hall, with Turkish media claiming the act could affect Ankara’s approval for Sweden’s bid to join NATO.

Viral footage on social media showed the effigy being held up by its feet outside the capital’s city hall as people stood by to watch.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson called the act “extremely serious” and an attempt to sabotage the nation’s NATO application. 

Local authorities claim they were unaware of the incident until the effigy was discovered.

Tensions between Ankara and Stockholm derive from Turkiye’s accusations that Sweden is complicit in harboring members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the People Defense Units (YPG), based in Syria, which Turkiye considers terror organizations. 

Turkiye holds the PKK responsible for the November 2022 bombing in Istanbul.

A few weeks ago, Reuters reported that talks between the two countries are progressing well, with Stockholm claiming that Ankara is close to ratifying Sweden’s request to join NATO.

Swedish Foreign Minister, Tobias Billström had previously said: “We are committed to fulfilling every obligation within this memorandum to the last letter as long as it is within the framework of the constitution of Sweden and the legislation and principles of rule of law.”

Three months prior, the Prime Minister of Sweden, Magdalena Andersson, pledged not to extradite any wanted Kurdish-Swedish citizens to Turkiye despite Ankara’s demands.

However, on 3 December 2022, Ankara was able to extradite a member of the PKK from Stockholm. The man received a six year and 10 month sentence.

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