The Foreign Ministers of Sweden and Turkey exchanged pointed remarks at each other in a press conference on Wednesday.
During the press conference, there were clear tensions between Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Swedish counterpart, Ann Linde. Linde criticized Turkey over its curbs on freedom of expression, and a decision by Ankara to resume energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. Çavuşoğlu replied by accusing Sweden of supporting Kurdish militants as well as remaining silent over Greece’s reported mistreatment of migrants.
Çavuşoğlu asked the Swedish Foreign Minister why she had urged Turkey to withdraw its troops from Syria: “I want to ask you this: On whose authority are you telling Turkey to withdraw from Syria, or warning Turkey?” Linde responded: “I am your guest. I would not take the debate here”.
Concerning Turkey’s repeated accusations that Greece has been mistreating migrants, Çavuşoğlu asked Linde: “If you are so sensitive about human rights, why don’t you for once criticize Greece?”
Linde replied: “I just hope that everyone in Turkey will have the possibility of being able to express their views as frankly as you are doing here, Minister”.