Sweden’s Turkey stance to determine government vote of confidence

The Swedish parliament will hold a vote of confidence on June 7 for Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s government following Friday’s motion submitted by the Swedish Democrats. In the evenly divided parliament, the tie-breaking vote will be cast by Kurdish-Swedish deputy Amina Kakabaveh, Fox News reported on Friday.

Kakabaveh played a crucial role in Andersson taking office in November, agreeing to support the Social Democratic politician following a promise to expand cooperation with the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Unity Party (PYD), the political party in charge of north and east Syria.

The former Kurdish peshmerga fighter has indicated she may support the no confidence vote if the government does not uphold its end of their agreement.

Turkey considers the PYD to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with which it has been involved in a bloody conflict for four decades. While PKK is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey and the European Union, only Ankara recognises PYD as one.

Sweden may take action against the PYD, despite previous relations with the party, as a stricter crackdown on terrorism is one of the demands Turkey has put forth in order to not use its authority to veto the country’s bid to join NATO.

Finland and Sweden submitted applications to join NATO after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. NATO’s rules require approval from all current members for any expansion.

Kakabaveh has had issues with Turkey since her time in the Iranian Kurdish Komala group, where she was a guerrilla fighter. She spent a year in Turkey on the run, before settling in Sweden as a quota refugee in 1992.

Hakkı Emre Yunt, Turkey’s ambassador to Sweden, accused Kakabaveh of having ties to the PKK last week, and called for her extradition to Turkey, as reported by Swedish news website The Local. The deputy has never held Turkish citizenship.

“Although I have never been in an open fight against Turkey, I have been in a democratic fight for human rights and women’s rights,” she told Swedish daily Dagbladet.

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