Turkey has agreed to allow Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In negotiations with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Swedish government backed down on crucial points. The agreement with Turkey reduces Sweden’s ability to act as a voice for peace and justice.
In 2019, a united parliament decided to stop arms exports to Turkey because Turkey bombed Kurds and other minorities in northeastern Syria. The Left Party was the driving force behind the decision. In yesterday’s negotiations, the government agreed to abolish all arms embargoes.
Erdoğan’s goal is also to silence Sweden’s voice for Kurdish rights in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. Yesterday, the government sacrificed the Kurds, but NATO membership could also mean that more people’s rights and freedoms are negotiated away.
We know that there are thousands of political prisoners in Turkish prisons. We know that powerless lawyers for human rights organizations live underground in Turkey. We know that mothers demonstrate that their children have been abducted by the police, children they will never see again. Innocent, their only crime is that they are Kurds. This is how the Kurdish minority in Turkey is treated.
The negotiations have also resulted in closer cooperation between the Armed Forces’ intelligence services and the Turkish national intelligence organization. This may mean that Sweden will need to extradite Kurds to Turkey who are in need of protection.
The Left Party is against NATO membership. Sweden has a long tradition of military freedom of alliance. NATO membership is associated with great uncertainty. We would risk being forced into wars and conflicts that we do not want to take part in. Membership in NATO also makes it more difficult to pursue an independent foreign policy with any credibility. This is what we now clearly see happening. It is a huge betrayal to let Turkey have such a great influence over Swedish foreign policy.