Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s radical Islamist ally Free Cause Party (HÜDA-PAR) chair Zekeriya Yapıcıoğlu on Aug. 13 criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s approval of Sweden's bid to join NATO.
Speaking at the 3rd ordinary congress of his party held at the Atatürk Cultural Center in Istanbul’s Pendik district, Yapıcıoğlu said “The responsibility of those who run the state regarding the recent attacks on the Qur'an (in Sweden) should not be limited to publishing a message of condemnation.”
“We will do our best to ensure that the decision of Sweden's NATO membership does not pass through the Parliament,” he added.
Erdoğan on July 10 agreed to forward to parliament Sweden's bid to join the NATO military alliance, appearing to end months of drama over an issue that had strained the bloc as war raged in Ukraine.
Similar to Yapıcıoğlu, Erdoğan’s other coalition partners far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and radical Islamist New Welfare Party (YRP) leader Fatih Erbakan also criticized the approval of Sweden's bid to join NATO in July.
Since Erdoğan's AKP has 263 parliamentary seats out of 600, the ratification of Sweden's NATO bid will require the support of other ruling alliance parties in case the opposition will not vote on behalf.
Yapıcıoğlu also criticized the recent series of tax increases and said “it is not right to burden the poor.”
“If you tax more from those who earn more, if you tax less from those who earn less, you will provide a little more justice in the distribution of income,” he added.