Sweden will not investigate Erdoğan puppet protest
A Swedish prosecutor has said there would be no formal investigation into a demonstration in Stockholm in which a puppet of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was hung from its feet. On the other hand, Sweden and Finland must deport or extradite up to 130 "terrorists" to Turkey before the Turkish parliament will approve their bids to join NATO, Erdoğan stated.
A Swedish prosecutor said on Jan. 16 there would be no formal investigation into a demonstration last week in Stockholm in which a life-size effigy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was hung from a lamppost by its feet, the Aftonbladet reported.
A video clip published last week that showed an effigy of Erdoğan hanging upside down outside Stockholm's city hall caused outrage in Turkey. Ankara summoned Sweden's ambassador on Thursday and demanded that those responsible for the demonstration be prosecuted.
However, a Swedish prosecutor formally decided the action was not punishable by Swedish law.
"I received the case as defamation, but did not think it could amount to defamation. Therefore, I decided not to initiate a preliminary investigation," prosecutor Lucas Eriksson told Aftonbladet on Jan. 16.
Sweden's prime minister condemned the demonstration last week and said it was a sabotage of Sweden's bid to join NATO.
On the other hand, Sweden and Finland must deport or extradite up to 130 "terrorists" to Turkey before the Turkish parliament will approve their bids to join NATO, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.
"We said look, so if you don't hand over your terrorists to us, we can't pass it (approval of the NATO application) through the parliament anyway," Erdoğan said in comments late on Jan. 15, referring to a joint press conference he held with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson last November.
"For this to pass the parliament, first of all you have to hand more than 100, around 130 of these terrorists to us," Erdoğan said.
Sweden has been seeking Turkey's approval to join NATO, for which it applied after Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. Ankara has said Sweden needs to take a clearer stance against what it sees as terrorists, mainly Kurdish militants and the organisation it blames for a 2016 coup attempt.
Finland and Sweden signed a three-way agreement with Turkey in 2022 aimed at overcoming Ankara's objections to their NATO membership.
On Jan. 16, Sweden's Kristersson said that his country was in a "good position" to secure Turkey's ratification of its NATO bid.