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Moderate politician called Pekgul 'clapping Turk'

Published: 26 Aug 2012 10:49 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Aug 2012 10:49 GMT+02:00

The Moderate Party’s social media manager Thomas Böhlmark called the former Social Democratic politician Nalin Pekgul ”clapping Turk” on Twitter, and has now been relieved of his responsibilities.

Böhlmark is one of the Moderates’ political secretaries, and the person in charge of the Moderate Party's official Twitter account.

“We’re now starting a discussion about what his role should be in future,” said the party’s press secretary Jesper Wigardt to the TT news agency.

The incident occurred during an online discussion with party colleagues, on Böhlmark’s private Twitter account. He wrote “clapping Turk” in reference to the Social Democrat Nalin Pekgul.

The response was immediate, and newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported that several people immediately demanded his resignation. Böhlmark himself removed the comment, and wrote an apology on Twitter.

“Noted that people didn’t like a tweet. Removed it and apologize,” and “All representatives for Moderates acting in social media are faces outward. Understand outrage and apologize.”

“It was inappropriately written. He didn’t mean anything offensive by it, but it went very wrong,” said Wigardt.

Nalin Pekgul has previously been called “clapping Turk” in racist discussions on the Internet, and the derogatory term originated from a video of her applauding former Social Democratic party leader Mona Sahlin in 2010.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:04 August 26, 2012 by Svensksmith
Better than being called a Turk with clap.
12:13 August 26, 2012 by Frobobbles
Is it really so insulting to be taken for a Turk? Any Turks out there than want to comment?
12:19 August 26, 2012 by StockholmSam
He should lose his job immediately because he is obviously unqualified to uphold the duties of his post in a professional manner.
14:13 August 26, 2012 by Youdee
Pekgul has said some unkind things about certain people living in certain parts of Stockholm. I didn't LIKE what she said, but calling her what he called her is totally unacceptable (considering all the GOOD things that she has tried to accomplish). I wish ALL politicians would cut out the tit-for-tat behavior.
21:15 August 26, 2012 by johan rebel
I thought he would have been relieved of his responsibilities, not "removed from".
00:15 August 27, 2012 by throwaway
@Frobobbles

It's not the Turk part, it's the clapping part that makes the insult. Meaning she'd agree everything with a mindless manner. I'm a Turk and not sure why this is such a bad thing to warrant resignation either.
02:42 August 27, 2012 by Norrlands Turk
I have heard the word "Turk" being used as a derogatory and racist word in new generation Swedes' slang lingo. While I obviously didn't like to hear this, I can't really make any further comments as I have never heard anyone using this word during my visits to Sweden.

"Nalin Pekgul has previously been called "clapping Turk" in racist discussions on the Internet, and the derogatory term originated from a video of her applauding former Social Democratic party leader Mona Sahlin in 2010."

This part explains why and how unacceptable to use this term for a Swedish citizen and former parliamentar, especially if you have an active role in a political party.
09:41 August 27, 2012 by StockholmSam
As social media manager, it is Thomas Böhlmark's job to know what terms are offensive and what terms are acceptable. He knew full well what "clapping Turk" insinuated and wrote it anyway. Is he unqualified or is he just dumb? Either way, he should be removed. A major political party cannot make such simple gaffes.
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