The editor-in-chief of Finnish national broadcaster Yleisradio Oy’s (YLE) news division Jouko Jokinen called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a “dictator” after the president said Finland and Sweden should stop broadcasting interviews with people he called ‘terrorist leaders’.
On Tuesday, Erdoğan said Turkey would not allow the two Nordic countries to join NATO so long as their public broadcasters continue “platforming terrorist leaders”.
“Typical delusional imaginations of a dictator,” Jokinen said in response to Erdoğan’s demand. “This doesn’t affect us in any way. On the contrary, this may show how good a job we are doing.”
The YLE recently ran an interview with Salih Muslim, the former leader of Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey considers a terrorist group. The party is not designated as such by any other country.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto supported the YLE’s broadcasting policies, Belgium-based Euractiv reported.
“The Finnish Broadcasting Company, just like all media in the country, enjoys complete press freedom. That is of course something untouchable in Finland,” Haavisto said.
Earlier in May, when Ankara first objected to Helsinki and Stockholm’s appeals to join NATO, Haavisto said Finland would “not trade” NATO membership with the country’s values.