ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey summoned the ambassador of fellow NATO member Sweden this week to complain about “insulting content” directed at President Tayyip Erdogan on Swedish TV, according to a report published by Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu Agency.
According to Anadolu, Swedish Ambassador Staffan Herrstrom was told by Turkey’s foreign ministry that the “impertinent and ugly expression and images” about Erdogan and Turkey seen on Swedish TV were unacceptable.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24th February, Sweden and Finland applied for membership in NATO. Currently, 28 of the 30 NATO member states have approved the application, but Turkey has raised objections.
Meanwhile, a Swedish delegation was due to arrive in Ankara to discuss the extradition of people regraded by Turkey as terrorists, which Ankara insists is a condition for approving Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids.
Playing down the importance of the satirical TV program, “Swedish News,” Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said the incident would harm her country’s chances of joining NATO.
Swedish News, which routinely mocks Swedish and international politicians, targeted Erdogan over alleged human rights abuses and ended the segment by shouting, “Long live democracy!”
Swedish public service television is tax-funded, but operates independently.