Turkish documentary slanders Sweden

A documentary shown by Turkey's state broadcaster, TRT, earlier this week depicts Sweden as a barbarian land responsible for the genocide of Sami and Roma peoples. Sweden's acts of ethnic cleansing are said to have continued until the 1980s.

“I have never seen anything like it. From start to finish the programme was twisted and full of lies,” Turkish journalist Yavuz Baydar told Sveriges Radio.

Kerstin Brunnberg from Sveriges Radio was interviewed in connection with the film. In the documentary her voice is dubbed into Turkish and she confirms Sweden’s systematic destruction of the Sami peoples. Brunnberg has described the interview as “absurd”.

The film has come in for severe criticism from various quarters in Turkey. The Swedish embassy in Ankara and the Turkish foreign ministry have both criticised the content of the film, according to Sveriges Radio.

TRT had planned to show the film a total of eight times but has now removed it from its schedule until further notice.

Yavuz Baydar thinks that the documentary may be the work of ultra-nationalists intent on keeping Turkey out of the EU. One tactic is to portray EU member states in a very unflattering light, and in this case Sweden has borne the brunt of the film maker’s ire.

“It is portrayed as an ugly country where it is impossible to live, a country characterised by tremendous violence, a country where minorities live in fear,” said Baydar.