Swedes have been pressuring their country's leadership to stand up to Turkey and not give in to its demands that Sweden drastically change some of its laws in order to become a member of NATO.
In response to some of Turkey's demands, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said last week, "they also say that they want things that we cannot and do not want to give them."
Sweden and Finland announced bids to join NATO in May after Russia invaded Ukraine. However, Turkey has consistently been the sole holdout 'veto' for both countries, accusing both, but Sweden in particular, of hosting Kurdish "terrorists."
In order to grant Sweden Nato membership, Turkey has demanded vast changes to some of Sweden's laws, including requesting that Sweden extradite individuals wanted in Turkey. Some of Turkey's demands include cracking down on Kurdish protestors, which violate Sweden's democratic and free speech laws.
In response to Turkey's multiple requirements, Kristersson finally admitted, "We cannot meet all of Turkey's demands."
On Sunday, in a press conference with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, Kristersson said, "Turkey has confirmed that we have done what we said we would do. But it also says that it wants things that we can't, that we don't want to give." Kistersson added, "We are convinced that Turkey will make a decision, we just don't know when."
According to Kirstersson, Turkey's decision will be based on Sweden's ability "to show its seriousness" along with inside political factors during an election year for Turkey.
The Kurdish issues stem from a long-standing history of Sweden accepting Kurds from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. It has been estimated over the previous 5 years that Syrian Kurds from border regions near Turkey comprise roughly 9-10 percent of Sweden's population.
Some of the Kurds in Sweden are political dissidents who have escaped the reach of the Turkish government, which has led Ankara to accuse Stockholm of deliberately harboring alleged "terrorists."
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