Press Releases


Erdogan's Attempt to Block NATO Expansion

Blackmail as a foreign policy method

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) warns against yielding to the new blackmail attempts of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been trying to instrumentalize Finland and Sweden's requests to join NATO for his own foreign policy agenda. "Erdogan is exploiting the security interests of the two Scandinavian states to criminalize ethnic minorities in the diaspora," stated Dr. Kamal Sido, Middle East Consultant of the STP. "Once again, he has shown that he sees NATO merely as a vehicle to impose an authoritarian Islamist policy on Europe."

The Turkish government has made it clear that the two liberal democracies will only get NATO protection against Russian aggression if they agree to step up the criminalization of Kurdish organizations. "The governments of Sweden and Finland have clearly condemned Turkey's human rights violations and war crimes in the Kurdish regions," Sido explained. "In the scope of humanitarian help, these countries have so far shown little regard for Erdogan's wishes – and they also provided help to Kurdish settlement areas. Further, Sweden and Finland are resisting the Turkish authorities in connection with how they treat asylum seekers and Erdogan's political opponents." The German Federal Government should support this approach. Support for Turkey in this matter would lead to a further erosion of European values.  

While Kurdish activists living in Germany can even be prosecuted for showing a flag or for organizing protests, the Kurdish population of Scandinavia has more political, cultural, and language-related rights. Germany, however, is known to pass on information about Kurdish activists to the Turkish security authorities – which regularly leads to arrests and long prison sentences. "Now, many fear that Turkey's unjustified influence will have a negative impact on the Kurdish diaspora in Scandinavia. It would be a serious setback for democracy and human rights in Europe if the situation in Scandinavia were to become similar to that in Germany. Also, NATO's image would suffer from the treatment of minority groups in the Middle East and the plight of the victims of Turkey's policy. In effect, this would not lead to more safety for anyone."

Dr. Kamal Sido is available for further questions: