Official Stockholm was accused of surrendering to “Despot Erdogan”
Turkey pulled a big surprise by abruptly reneging on its promises to block Finland and Sweden from joining NATO. It is clear that Ankara does not smell of any charity and just good will towards the future NATO allies. Erdogan's office openly stated that the Turks got “what they wanted”. And numerous Kurds living in Scandinavia believe that they were betrayed and sold out for the sake of the geopolitical ambitions of the Swedish government.
Perhaps someday the undercover agreements between Turkey, Finland and Sweden (and, perhaps, the United States, which so far denies this) will become known. But what lies on the surface is enough: Stockholm and Helsinki have promised to break off relations with Kurdish groups that Ankara calls “terrorist” (they are the PKK, the Syrian Kurdish organizations YPG/PYD, and the Gulenist movement FETÖ). The Scandinavians have promised to fight the terrorist threat together with the Turks.
The icing on the cake for Erdogan was the promise of the Finns and the Swedes to lift the arms embargo imposed after Turkish troops intervened in northern Syria (again, mainly against Kurdish formations).
In the context of the deal, the topic (especially, however, not emphasized) of extradition was also mentioned: Helsinki and Stockholm promised to promptly respond to Turkish requests for the deportation of suspected terrorists. According to AFP, Turkey is demanding the extradition of 33 terrorist suspects from Sweden and Finland. And, as Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson told Aftonbladet, any extraditions will take place “within the framework of national and international law.”
Many were satisfied with the outcome of the deal. The leaders of Sweden and Finland rejoice at the last-minute green light given to them by their future NATO allies. The leadership of the alliance is happy that everything will be dignified and noble at the Madrid summit, without two important applicants left behind. Most of all, of course, Erdogan has reasons to rub his hands – he achieved a foreign policy breakthrough, struck a blow at Kurdish groups, and agreed to lift the arms embargo. And, of course, in the eyes of his compatriots, he confirmed his reputation as a heavyweight politician who knows how to make proposals to Western democracies that they cannot refuse.
But the Kurds, who have found a new home in Scandinavia, are dissatisfied with the conciliatory position of their politicians, to put it mildly. The news about the settlement of the conflict between Ankara and Stockholm over the Swedish application for NATO membership was received by representatives of the large Kurdish community living in the Scandinavian kingdom (estimated to be about 100-150 thousand people) with great disappointment and anxiety. However, they are not the only ones.
Member of the Riksdag (parliament) and leader of the Left Party Nushi Dadgostar (her parents once fled to Sweden from Iran to escape persecution) believes that the Swedish government should explain what it was it that now agreed.
“First, the government should convene the leaders of the parties and explain what they have agreed on,” Svenska Dagbladet quoted her as saying. “Based on media reports, it looks like a foreign power should be allowed to decide who should be deported and what should be published in Swedish newspapers.”
“We warned in advance of the dangers of leaving Swedish security policy in the hands of Despot Erdogan,” resents Nushi Dadgostar. “But the government denied that this would happen. Now we need to put the cards on the table. Should Sweden arm Turkey in its war of aggression against Syria? Which critic of the regime should be deported?”
Another member of the Swedish parliament, former Kurdish guerrilla Amine Kakabawe, is deeply disappointed with the deal between Sweden and Turkey and calls it a betrayal of the Kurds.
She threatened to launch a no-confidence vote against Foreign Minister Ann Linde, who had a hand in a controversial deal with Turkey. However, the head of the Swedish government, Magdalena Anderson, stood up for her head of the Foreign Ministry: “More than 80 percent of the members of the Riksdag represent parties wishing to join NATO. It would be very difficult to explain to the Swedish people why they voted for a vote of no confidence in the very minister who participated in the negotiations, so that we can take this step.”
“This is a betrayal on the part of the government of Sweden, the NATO countries and Stoltenberg, who are deceiving an entire group (we are talking about the movements of the Syrian Kurds YPG/PYD – “MK”), which liberated itself and the whole world from DAISH (ISIS, “Islamic State” – banned in the Russian Federation terrorist organization), the Swedish edition of Dagens Nyheter quotes the reaction of Amine Kakabave, whose extradition, according to media reports, is demanded by Turkey. “Especially when it comes to the struggle of women, which Sweden allegedly supports. Thousands of women sacrificed themselves to free the world from ISIS.”
Recall that earlier Kakabawe, who recently supported Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson with her decisive vote during a vote of no confidence, reached an agreement with the government that Sweden will continue to support the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG (“People's Protection Units”) and deepen cooperation with its political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD). But now, for the sake of joining NATO, Sweden and Finland have promised not to support these organizations. Thus, past agreements crumbled.
There was a place in criticism from a member of the Swedish parliament, which the Turkish edition of En Son Haber called “a supporter of terrorists”, and personally for NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who welcomed Turkey's agreement with Finland and Sweden to the extent that these countries are ready to work with Ankara over the extradition of terrorist suspects in the future.
“Stoltenberg himself feels warm and safe. He doesn’t know how the rest of us saved our lives by escaping imprisonment and executions,” says Amine Kakabava.
At the same time, the Kurdish activist believes that Sweden will legally never be able to extradite people who fled from persecution and face imprisonment in Turkey. In her opinion, the deal with Ankara has a much more negative impact on Sweden, which, according to Kakabava, “bowed before the tyrant” (that is, Erdogan), in terms of morality.
When asked by Dagens Nyheter, does she understand politician that Stockholm still had to negotiate in order to join NATO, Amine Kakabava replied: “Yes, a settlement must be negotiated, but why at the expense of the Kurds? Why use the Kurds as a bargaining chip?