Reuters – Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned Sweden’s ambassador in Ankara to a meeting to protest contacts between two Swedish ministers and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which Ankara considers a terrorist group, Turkish diplomatic sources said on Tuesday.
Turkey considers the SDF to be an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militia, which has waged a decades-old insurgency against the Turkish state. Ankara says the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which forms the military backbone of the SDF, is an offshoot of the PKK.
The Turkish sources said the ambassador was summoned to the ministry over a recent videoconference between Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and senior SDF officials, and added the call came shortly after contact between Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and “terrorist elements”.
The ambassador was told that Turkey “strongly condemned” the contacts and that “Sweden’s dangerous politics were not just supporting those targeting Syria’s territorial integrity and Turkey’s security, but also amounted to clearly a violation of international law, and therefore continue to seriously harm our bilateral ties,” the sources added.