Turkey summons Swedish ambassador over 'support' for terror organisations

The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned on Tuesday Swedish Ambassador to Ankara Staffan Herrström to express Turkey’s discomfort with Sweden's alleged support for terrorist organisations, Sözcü newspaper reported, citing diplomatic sources.

The move follows a video conference call on Monday between Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and Mazloum Kobani, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), where Hultqvispledged cooperation, the newspaper said.

Kobani is considered a terrorist by Ankara because of his past as a commander in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging an armed insurgency in Turkey since 1984.

Hultqvist was briefed on Ankara’s unease with Sweden’s contact with Kurdish forces in northern Syria, the newspaper said, referencing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which forms the bulk of the SDF.

Turkey views the YPG as an offshoot of the PKK, thus a threat to national security – and has conducted three campaigns into Syria to push the group south from the Turkish-Syrian border region. 

The ministry on Tuesday also conveyed to Herrström that Turkey would maintain its struggle against terrorist organisations, like the PKK and the Islamic State (ISIS), independently from any nation that backs Ankara to this end, Sözcü said.