“Our membership in NATO will expose us to Erdogan’s threat.” Anti-NATO and pro-Kurdish protesters take to the streets in Stockholm

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Opponents say joining NATO would make Sweden “dependent on Erdogan’s threat”. Photo: Profimedia Images

Hundreds of people marched in Stockholm on Sunday, waving anti-NATO banners and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) flags, denouncing a new Swedish anti-terror law and under what they say is pressure from Turkey to accept the country’s accession to NATO. .

“They are attacking the Kurds in Sweden,” said Tomas Petersen, a spokesman for the coalition that organized the demonstration. He added that the aim of the new law is to allow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to “allow Sweden to join NATO”.

“Our membership in NATO will expose us to Erdogan’s threat,” former Swedish Vice President Amine Kakabwe told AFP during the demonstration.

Turkey has blocked Sweden’s entry into the North Atlantic alliance for more than a year, accusing it of “indulging” Kurdish militias.

A new law that came into effect in Sweden on June 1 introduces criminal cases for “participation in a terrorist organization,” strengthening the country’s legislation in this area, one of the conditions set by Turkey to lift its veto on joining NATO. Member since 1952.

In central Stockholm, “No NATO, no Erdogan laws in Sweden!” The demonstration, entitled “Alliance Against NATO”, was organized by the Rojava Group, a support group specifically for Kurdish armed groups in Syria.

Erdogan, who was re-elected as Turkey’s president on May 28, has called for dozens of Kurdish activists to be deported to Sweden.

Earlier this week, the Turkish government expressed its irritation that movements close to the PKK staged the demonstration. However, out of respect for freedom of expression, Swedish police confirmed on Friday that they would recognize it.

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Although the PKK is classified as a “terrorist organization” in Sweden, as in the rest of the EU, its supporters are generally not disturbed during rallies.

Author: Adrian Dumitru

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