Turkey summons Sweden’s ambassador over ‘insulting’ TV show

The Swedish-Kurdish comedian Kadir Meral in SVT Nyheter, where he joked about Erdoğan for about ten minutes in the Kurdish language Kurmanji.

Turkey summoned Sweden’s ambassador Wednesday after an “insulting” television broadcast, as relations between the two countries remain strained over Stockholm’s bid for membership in NATO, Turkish Minute reported, citing Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.

“The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Swedish Ambassador to Ankara Staffan Herrstrom today over a Swedish Television (SVT) broadcast that contained insulting statements and images against Türkiye and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” Anadolu news agency said.

Finland and Sweden abandoned their decades-long military non-alignment and applied to become members of NATO in May, three months after Russia invaded Ukraine.

But Erdoğan threatened to block their applications and demanded concessions.

In June, Finland, Sweden and Turkey reached an agreement that included provisions on extraditions and intelligence sharing. That cleared the way for NATO to formally invite the two nations to join the Western military alliance.

Only Hungary and Turkey have yet to send the membership applications to their parliaments for ratification.

All 30 members of NATO must ratify each bid before they can become members.

Erdoğan on Saturday renewed his threat to block the membership bid until the two countries “deliver” on promises made to Ankara.

He has repeatedly accused both countries of being havens for Kurdish militants, singling out the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in particular, and of promoting “terrorism.”

A Swedish delegation will travel to Turkey this week for talks after Finnish, Swedish and Turkish officials met in Finland in August.

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