International Desk: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that if Sweden does not show respect to Turkey and Muslims, then it should not expect Ankara's support in becoming a member of NATO. At the same time, the Turkish president criticized Stockholm for harboring supporters of terrorists and allowing them to carry out provocative activities.
"If you (Sweden) do not respect the religion of Turkey and Muslims, we will not have any support in NATO," Erdogan told reporters after a cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara on Monday. Moreover, Sweden should not expect Turkey's support in NATO after allowing such a shameful act in front of the Turkish embassy.
Earlier on Saturday, a hard-line anti-Islamic politician Rasmus Paludan set fire to a copy of the Holy Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. He did such a despicable act with the permission of the Swedish government. The Turkish president also criticized Paludan's despicable actions.
Erdogan said that if Sweden likes sponsors of terrorism and Islamophobia, then they should also protect their own country. At the time, he criticized Stockholm for allowing supporters of the Turkish-declared terrorist group PKK or YPG to demonstrate.
It should be noted that recently supporters of PKK and YPG groups protested in Stockholm. A symbolic execution of the Turkish president took place there. However, Sweden has signed a memorandum of understanding to obtain Turkey's support for NATO membership. Whereas Turkey has promised to take action against declared terrorists.
Russia launched an attack on Ukraine in February last year. Soon after, Sweden and Finland applied for membership of the military alliance NATO. But according to NATO's constitution, any member country's veto on membership is not valid. That is why Sweden and Finland are the second largest NATO countries after Turkey.
On the other hand, Ankara views the PKK and its affiliate YPG as a threat to Turkey's sovereignty. The group's fighters, based in neighboring Syria and Iraq, often carry out attacks in Turkey. The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been agitating for autonomy for the past four decades. But along with Turkey, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union have blacklisted it as a terrorist organization. Over 40,000 people have been killed in Turkey by PKK attacks in recent years. Among them are women and children.
Meanwhile, Swedish Defense Minister Paul Johnson has announced a visit to Turkey this week due to the situation. However, Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop canceled the Swedish Parliament Speaker's visit to Ankara due to insulting the Quran.