Löfven: Turkey headed in the wrong direction

The Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven (S), harshly criticises the direction in which he sees Turkey going after the failed coup of several weeks ago. Dagens Nyheter reports that Löfven claims that the refugee agreement between the EU and Turkey could be threatened because of the direction in which the country is currently headed. “It is a troubling development, especially when it comes to freedom of speech and what is happening to journalists. But what they are saying now – that we should have visa-free travel, already in October – that is, of course, a red line for us. To have visa-freedom one must comply with all the requirements. They cannot just have it. And of course, in that sense, Turkey is going in the wrong direction. That is the way it is,” said Löfven.

In an opinon piece published by Svenska Dagbladet, the Turkish Ambassador, Kaya Türkmen, writes that Turkey deserves solidarity from its Western partners after the failed coup attempt in July. Strong measures are now required, including investigating all persons with connections to the Gülen movement.  A number of journalists are being investigated too: “Being a journalist is definitely not a ticket to escaping criminal liability,” the Ambassador writes.  He dismisses allegations that detainees have been maltreated, raped or tortured as “pure lies”.  The Ambassador concludes the article by writing that he will be available to provide information and explanations from anyone interested in getting an in-depth knowledge about these issues.

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Jessica Nilsson Williams is the CEO & Founder of Mundus International. She has a long-standing interest in international affairs, having studied and worked in the field for more than 20 years. She began her career as the political advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, and then worked in London and Singapore before returning to Stockholm. In 2011 she took up a senior role at the New Zealand Embassy before founding Mundus International in 2012. In addition to working for foreign missions, she has worked in sectors such as NGOs and non-profit organisations (e.g. the Clinton Foundation and the International Red Cross), and television.