Türkiye condemns pro-PKK demonstration in Sweden

Türkiye condemns pro-PKK demonstration in Sweden

Türkiye condemns pro-PKK demonstration in Sweden

Türkiye has expressed strong condemnation over a recent act by the PKK terrorist organization in the Swedish capital Stockholm.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the fact that a PKK-affiliated group was allowed to make propaganda with the symbols of a terrorist organization and to commit an outrageous act against our president," the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on Aug. 5.

The ministry also criticized the Swedish government's response, reminding the commitments undertaken in the context of preventing actions of the PKK and its affiliates.

The supporters of the organization carried out the act during an LGBT gathering held in the capital Stockholm, putting LGBT symbols on an effigy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan while also displaying cloth pieces symbolizing the PKK/YPG. Furthermore, the demonstrators voiced opposition to Sweden's NATO bid and called on the government not to accept Türkiye's conditions.

Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership last year amid concerns over Russia's invasion of Ukraine and escalating tensions in Europe. Initially, the Nordic countries sought to join the alliance together, but Türkiye's objections to Sweden's membership prompted Finland to proceed independently, securing its NATO membership in April.

Ankara has long been voicing concerns about Sweden's leniency towards terrorist groups and is pushing for more concrete action in the fight against them. Although Sweden has amended its anti-terror legislation since applying for NATO membership, Türkiye argues PKK supporters can still freely organize demonstrations, recruit and procure financial resources within the country.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for over 35 years of terror campaigns in Türkiye, claiming over 40,000 lives, including women, children and infants.