Amineh Kakabaveh, a Swedish-Kurdish member of the Swedish parliament, said she was happy and proud of her past as a Komala peshmerga in Iran’s Kurdish regions.
“As a socialist and patriot, I am honoured to once have been part of Komala,” she said in a video message released on Wednesday.
In her message Kakabaveh thanked the outpouring of support for her, after she was targeted by right-wing groups in both Sweden and Turkey.
“Thank you so much for all your support for me against fascism and dictatorship, against those who brutally torture and kill our people and our children,” the deputy said, condemning the silence of European states in the face of Turkish aggression and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s explosive rhetoric.
“All European countries are silent against Erdoğan. I cannot accept this silence,” she said.
Repeating her support for majority-Kurdish Syrian groups People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), Kakabaveh said she worked hard for the social democrat Swedish government to continue supporting the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).
“YPG and YPJ are not terrorists. Erdoğan is. Those states in the Middle East are,” Kakabaveh said.
The deputy has been called a terrorist by Turkey’s right-wing, over her identity as a Kurdish woman and objection to Sweden compromising to Turkey to get approval for its NATO bid. Turkish ambassador Hakkı Emre Yunt called for Kakabaveh’s extradition to Turkey as part of Ankara’s demands of extradition for some 30 individuals that the country considers to be terrorists. Kakabaveh, born in Iran and naturalised in Sweden, has never held Turkish citizenship and has no ties to Turkey.
Meanwhile the Swedish right-wing has targeted the deputy, saying she showcased how lax Sweden’s laws against terrorism were.
Turkey demands Sweden designate terrorist YPG and other Syrian Kurdish groups, extradite individuals who have sought asylum in the country, and crackdown on Sweden’s Kurdish community over their legal efforts to organise and engage in civil society, in order to support Stockholm’s bid to join NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. So far, Sweden has lifted an arms embargo on Turkey but not taken any other steps to meet Ankara’s demands.