Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Swedish politician Jimmie Akesson has called him an Islamic dictator. Photo/REUTERS/Marko Djurica
STOCKHOLM – Jimmie Akesson, leader of the Swedish Democratic Party, which is the main ally of the local government, criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan which he called “Islamic dictator”.
The harsh comments added to the series of tensions between the two countries when Ankara blocked Stockholm’s move to become a member of NATO.
Previously, demonstrators in Sweden insulted Erdogan by hanging a statue of the Turkish leader’s face upside down. Demonstrators compared Erdogan to Italy’s fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini.
The move has angered Erdogan’s government, but the Swedish government has rejected Ankara’s call to open an investigation into the hanging of the statue.
Also read: Swedish demonstrators hang Erdoğan statue upside down, Turkey is angry
“You can’t go too far. Because in the end it is an anti-democratic system that we are dealing with,” Akesson said of Turkey’s stance on making Sweden’s accession to NATO difficult.
Akesson also argues that it is important for Sweden not to give in too much to Turkish demands and opposes the notion that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a popularly elected leader. “(He is) an Islamic dictator, more or less,” he said.
“I am the leader of the Democratic Party of Sweden which is anti-Islam and has strong views of an Islamic dictator like Erdogan,” he said, as quoted by Sputnik, Thursday (19/1/2023).
Akesson’s claims come after the recent scandal in Swedish-Turkish relations and the Nordic country’s accession to NATO is conditional on Ankara’s approval.
Swedish Prime Minister who is also the leader of the Moderate Party Ulf Kristersson and Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom condemned the recent action of demonstrators hanging a statue of Erdogan upside down.
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