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Sahlin slams Erdogan over expulsion threat

Paul O'Mahony · 18 Mar 2010, 15:46

Published: 18 Mar 2010 15:46 GMT+01:00

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"It's a horrible threat," Sahlin told news agency TT.

Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday, Erdogan cited figures showing that only 70,000 of the 170,000 Armenians living in Turkey were citizens of his country.

"If necessary I will tell the 100,000: okay, time to go back to your country. Why? They are not my citizens. I am not obliged to keep them in my country," he said.

Erdogan's comments followed non-binding resolutions by Sweden's parliament and the US Congress to recognize as genocide the massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915.

"Perhaps this is more an expression of political jockeying in Turkey," said Sahlin.

"I really hope he didn't seriously mean that 100,000 people of Armenian extraction living in Turkey but lacking Turkish passports should be thrown out."

Sahlin also felt that Erdogan's statements put pressure on Sweden's prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to speak out.

"I am assuming the dialogue Reinfeldt says he is having with Erdogan does not only entail apologising for the Swedish parliament's decision but also involves standing up for the human rights of Armenians living in Turkey," she said.

The Social Democrat leader added that she had no regrets about the decision of the left-green opposition to push through the resolution last week with the help of four centre-right defectors.

Agneta Berliner was one of two Liberal Party MPs to ignore centre-right calls to reject the resolution.

"I don't think this kind of threat should have any bearing on decisions by the Swedish parliament. In fact, actions such as this only serve to show how far Turkey still has to go before it is a full democracy that respects human rights," she said.

Story continues below…

Berliner dismissed suggestions that the Riksdag vote had played into the hands of forces in Turkey opposed to the democratic process.

"If that's the case we can just roll over on every issue. I don't think there's any value for Turkey-friendly countries like Sweden in not expressing what we think," she said.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

16:35 March 18, 2010 by McChatter
Wow! Mona really slammed him! He'll be shaking for a week now! hahahahah!
16:55 March 18, 2010 by sissygirl
Perhaps she should have said, "That is so uncool, dude."
16:59 March 18, 2010 by peropaco
Not a fan of Monita but she took a stand for comments made by the Turkish PM then kudos to her.
17:13 March 18, 2010 by calebian22
Kind of surprising she took this stand as a Social Democrat. 100,000 Armenian refugees taken in by Sweden seems like her dream come true.
17:38 March 18, 2010 by sissygirl
Really, where will those people go? The Turkish PM is only making his country look even more like a bunch od arsholes
17:41 March 18, 2010 by occassional
Perhaps the Turkish PM would like some of 'his citizens' back from western Europe...
18:02 March 18, 2010 by sissygirl
Hm? That's a thought. How about a trade ;) Give him a bonus of many more Islamists. Then his country will be united in their beliefs
18:06 March 18, 2010 by Brtahan
They doing all this drama episode just to enter the EU!!! understand the point? Or for some big business deal. and calebian22 just chill and dont make assumption.
18:11 March 18, 2010 by CanadianEh
Wow the media is the perfect tool to manipulate the masses. Sahlin get your facts straight. The Turkish PM said he would deport the 100 000 illegal Armenians living in Turkey not the 70 000 that are Citizens.

"In my country there are 170,000 Armenians; 70,000 of them are citizens. We are turning a blind eye to the remaining 100,000," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the BBC Turkish service late on Tuesday while on a visit to London.

"So, what am I going to do tomorrow? I may tell these 100,000 to go back to their country, if it becomes necessary," he added.

I don't know who or what to believe anymore in the end who gives a rats ÄSS concentrate on current issues not on past events.
18:53 March 18, 2010 by Zeynalov
Armenian Population

In 1893: 1,157,519

In 1905: 1,173,233

In 1914: 1,294,851

Armenian diaspora talking really funny, how is it possible that 1.500.000 killed in 1915? if you have 1.294.851 during that period.

Ok, lets say that all the World countries recognize the false "Armenian Genocide" What you will earn? What it will brings to you?

If there was a genocide 100 years ago, why you did not say till that time? Yesterday you woke up and today stat to say that there was a genocide.

Today your border is closed with Azerbaijan and Turkey, and you don't have a good relations with Georgia, only IRAN helps you. Without Russia you can not do thing anything. it is not only my idea, all clever person knows it.

What Armenians have? How they are surviving? in a week the 100s of Armenian leaving from Armenia to Europe, to Turkey, to the USA, etc....




Because the people are dying, there is no job, there is no opportunity for future carrier, no education, no democracy.

Government spending it is 80% of budget for Diaspora...

Government spending it is 80% of budget for Diaspora...

Government spending it is 80% of budget for Diaspora...

Corruption is playing the main role in Armenia, Government loves corruption,

What can you say about Karabagh, which is occupied by Armenian force in 1992-1993. It was territory of Azerbaijan, and now 1.000.000 refuges living in Azerbaijan.

It is the reality,
19:49 March 18, 2010 by Audrian
I hope he did not say what the social democratic party leader has claimed Erdogan had said. If it is true, it is not acceptable. Turkey belongs to Amenians, who are resident there, as much as it belongs to Erdogan's.
20:00 March 18, 2010 by Zeynalov

Give me fact, Give me fact,

I know both of your history, Armenian and Turkey.
20:26 March 18, 2010 by krigeren
I think Mona needs to put her money where here mouth is and welcome the 100,00 Armenians to Sweden otherwise its just rattling sabers.

Personally, if I were here I would choose my battles wisely. Turkey is not the wisest country to pick a fight with....she should have done some warmups on one of the Baltic states first......
20:31 March 18, 2010 by askin
I have been following the Turkish and the international press on the issue. 100.000 are those who have illegally

come into Turkey and lack work and residence permit. Not the other Armenians who posess legal work and residence permits. Pity Swedish press and politicians misunderstan Turkish PM's remarks.

So far Turkey has been tolerating them.

What does Sweden do to illegal immigrants. Doesn't she deport them?
22:21 March 18, 2010 by me_i_sverige
ok, No problem. let them deport Armenians and we shall deport all Turks from EU to make place for those Armenians. Anyway, we are tired to these Turks in Germany & Denmark.
23:44 March 18, 2010 by Zeynalov
22:21 March 18, 2010 by me_i_sverige.

shall deport all Turks from EU to make place for those Armenians.

who are you? whom do u think yourself, Armenia is slave of Russia. if Russia will take its hand from Armenia, they will..............
00:28 March 19, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Mo Chatter & Sissy girl,

" Slammed " and slammed. Banged and banged. Scared and scared. To all intents and purposes our Mona is ganna be the first female MP turned PM.

I'll take care of this in number 3. I promise.

Reminds me of this:

"My graduate students and I once left a graduate seminar room untidy after our three-hour class at Penn State University. It was an evening seminar and we normally brought snacks to class. That evening, we got carried away debating Frantz Fanon and Walter Rodney and forgot to clean up the room. Next day, a terse email from the Departmental Secretary was in my inbox: "Hi Pius, it would appear that you and your students left the seminar room in a less than complimentary situation yesterday…" At this point, I stopped reading and went to her office and told her: "you know, it's ok to say hey Pius, you guys made a heck of a mess in the seminar room! I won't sue for pain and suffering if you put it plain old English. Less than complimentary situation? That's political correctness gone too far". I have very little patience with American political correctness. My work depends on the flow and effervescence of language, political correctness stands in the way of language."

00:33 March 19, 2010 by McChatter
Let's get back to the point. The Local says that Sahlin "slams Edogan". "It's a horrible threat". Who's going to believe that? The naïve Swedish population? Or the Turkish leaders?

Sahlin says, and I quote,"I really hope he didn't seriously mean that 100,000 of Armenian extraction living in Turkey but lacking Turkish passports should be thrown out." It´'s time Mona woke up to international life! Erdogan Bey means what he says! Even stupid motions passed in the Swedish Parliament can have far-reaching effects. She proves here that she is not a true leader!
03:08 March 19, 2010 by Prosweden
Erdogan is a big clown, the army should move in and get rid of him. Isn't enough what they did to the Armenians?
03:10 March 19, 2010 by Greg in Canada
And Turkey wants to become an EU member? LOL!! Not very likely.
07:51 March 19, 2010 by Gurkhan
so this is how someone loses the chances of becoming PM while almost guaranteeing the position a few months before the election...
08:53 March 19, 2010 by sfk
I think that Sahlin has difficulty or some of our european politician has difficulty to understand the speech of The Turkish PM. Or they are good at twisting the case even there are clear proof.... He said he would deport the 100 000 illegal Armenians living in Turkey not the 70 000 that are Citizens... Poor Turkey, even when they try to our way, they are naively telling on the media... What we are doing illegal people in EU, just we send back. So .. So what a double standard is this... What Sweden does the people who try to stay in Sweden illegally...

I suggest Turkish PM send those illegal people over here and Sahlin should look after all, since her party and she support this unnecessary issues...
10:33 March 19, 2010 by Newyork-Växjö
Is it really worth for these PM to waste their times and talk about something which cant be proved. Or it is because US said so...

There is always a game involved into these tricks, probably US wants something from Turkey so they can take back their votes.

it is common technique used by them.

Poor Palestinians die and their homes are destroyed in this modern time, nobody pass such a law against them. Because US does not say so.
10:57 March 19, 2010 by cbe
As a Turkish, I think EU would be a more beautiful place with its new members like Romania, Bulgaria, Crotia, Macedonia, Serbia and without Turkey.

And, the Armenians that are mentioned in the news are staying illegaly in the country. That's the case. And if Armenia has some Turks staying illegaly in Armenia, I think they also can say similar things.
11:29 March 19, 2010 by Uncle
"Poor Palestinians die and their homes are destroyed in this modern time, nobody pass such a law against them. Because US does not say so. "

Poor Kurds who are slammed by Turkey, Iran and Iraq on constant basis with not so smart weapons, would love to exchange fate with the poor Palestinians.

But if there is no day without some article about some palestinian who felt a little funny in his stomach, nobody cares about 30 million Kurds or the poor conquered Cypricians...
13:07 March 19, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg


As you say, "motions passed in the Swedish Parliament can have far-reaching effects."

And no "Pro -Sweden" I don't agree that".the army should move in and get rid of him."

One of the most dangerous possible outcomes of this type of resolution is that the ultra nationalists who make up the backbone of the Turkish military could take over, should the sitaution get out of hand...

This too is pro-Swden:

17:48 March 19, 2010 by gaia_goddess

First of all, I hope you can understand my English. I see you are struggling with your English skills to express your brillant throughts. Comments:

1) Your "Armenian population" figures... taken from which source? Some document written by the Turks?

2) What will Armenians "earn" from Turkey admitting the Armenian genocide? Are you seriously asking that question? What did the Jews EARN from the Germans admitting the Holocaust? Nothing can bring back the dead, but the least you can do is admit it.

3) What difference does it make what situation Armenia is in? Does that in ANY way change what happened in the past? Or is that just a masked threat, meaning that if we "piss off" Turkey, our situation will become much worse?

4) Wow, are you REALLY talking about Armenians immigrating to other countries? Wow. First of all, Armenians fled FROM the abovementioned genocide, which is how the disapora formed in the first place. Second, if Turkey is such an awesome country, how do you account for the millions and MILLIONS of Turks living in Germany and everywhere else in the world?




I suppose that it's because "the people are dying, there are no jobs, no opportunity for future, no careers, no education, no democracy"!

Oh and, the Armenian government is SPENDING 80% on the diaspora? Really? Last time I heard, the diasporans were bringing IN money!

Your logic is very representative of the "logic" Turkey uses. The nicest part in your comments, though, is the threats regarding in what a "bad" situation Armenia is in. If you say that Russia is protecting Armenia, then I suppose you want to take up this fight with them? Russia has acknowledged the Armenian genocide. Why don't you argue with them, then? Or are you afraid?
20:46 March 19, 2010 by Uncle
Good point about Russia gaia_goddess. Sweden condemns the genocide - Turkey starts with threats and promises of expulsion. Russia does the same - Turkey politely disagrees.

Like when US encourages sanctions against Iran - Iran burns US flags and promises eternal Jihad. Russia supports the sanctions - Iran expresses slight dissapointment.

Europe supports the invasion into Afghanistan - buses in Europe explode and the westerners are kidnapped. Russia provides it's airspace for attacks - taliban expresses sorrow.

I read about kidnapping wave in Lebanon in the 80's when tens of foreigners including the Head of CIA there (William Buckley) and minister Benjamin Weir. The west was negotiating and providing Islamic Jihad with weapons for the hostages for years.

The proud Jihad wanted to press on Syria to move its forces out of Lebanon and for that they kidnapped 2 Russian diplomats and shot one immediately.

Russian GRU came to Sheikh Fadlallah (spiritual leader of IJ) and gave him 48 hours to release the remaining one. He said that he knows nothing of kidnapping. 2 of his relatives were immediately kidnapped and one was found dead in front of Fadlallahs house with his organ in his mouth and a promise of "To be continued"...

Strangely the survived Russian diplomat was found walking on the streets of Beirut that day. This only shows what works in the Middle East...
23:18 March 19, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Interesting details about Sheikh Fadlallah of the dangerous Middle East, from UNCLE.

"Russia has acknowledged the Armenian genocide. Why don't you argue with them, then? Or are you afraid?" ( gaia_ g)

But Russia and Armenia were comrades-in-arms, understand? Isn't that what it's all about?

This reminds about Khyber:


After the Muslims had defeated the Jewish tribe of Bani Qurayza in Medina, the prophet of Islam asked Sa'd ibn Mu'adh the tribal leader of the Aws who had just been mortally wounded in the Battle of the Trenches, " Sa'd what shall we do with the Jews?"

Sa'd replied "All the able-bodied adult male persons belonging to the tribe should be killed, the women and children taken prisoners and their wealth divided among the Muslim fighters." To which the Prophet of Islam then concurred: "You have given the judgement of Allah above the seven heavens..."

And that judgment was executed forthwith: 800 Jewish men were lined up and slaughtered in the town square. The ultimate answer was that that's what should happen to those "who wage war against Allah and His prophet "

Another difference between Russia and Sweden is that the current Swedish government is against this resolution that was sponsored by the opposition - and passed by a majority of one vote (131 voted "yes" and there were 130 "no" votes, with 88 abstentions.)

This Swedish government is also one of the strongest supporters of Turkey's entry into the European Union - and therefore there is a greater disappointment with - not so much Sweden as with the Social Democrats.

Perhaps you unconsciously succumb/ suck up to a conspiracy theory part of which has yet to gain wider currency: that the Social Democrat vote (Mona Sahlin's) is basically to phuck up Carl Bildt & Fredrik Reinfeldt, real good .

NB. The Russians lost some 20 million men in the Second World War….
01:24 March 20, 2010 by Uncle
Last comment - that is exactly right. Russians do not mind losses. In their "release" of hostages in Buddenovsk village, they used GRAD (multiple rocket launchers) in order to kill all the kidnappers. Any hostage who survived was a bonus.

In Beslan the idea was to kill all the terrorists as well. In Moscow theater the gas used by Russians was known as lethal to certain percentage of population. It did not matter, as long as the terrorists would be shot.

So muslims can deal with the west, but are cannot deal with Russians, whereas Russians are afraid of the west . West is not afraid of the conventional Russia, but is helpless against muslims. Freaking great circle here.
10:03 March 20, 2010 by gozde
Coming from Turkey, I can say that turkish prime minister is the most evil, and selfish person I've ever seen. I'm not surprised that he made such a threat. Indeed, the country he and his entourage made Turkey is exactly the reason I left.

I've many friends and family friends that are Armenians back home. Those people have been living there all their lives in total harmony with Turks. He cannot ask them to go anywhere, it's their home.

Moreover, what if Sweden asked the Turkish citizens to leave Sweden as a counter attack? Doesn't seem likely, but I can't believe the son of a b****'s still playing with my future after I moved a million miles away...
11:14 March 20, 2010 by tunahan
The Armenians who are meant by the Turkish Prime Minister are those who came to Turkey and working in Turkey as ILLEGAL ALIEN or UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS! NOT the Armenians who are currently Turkish Republic's citizen! NOT the Armenians currently living in Turkey without citizenship.

This means that these illegal Armenian aliens have been known and their undocumented status were being tolerated by the Turks SOLELY FOR HUMAN REASONS which the Westerns' biased eyes are unable to see!

Since these workers are not registered, they have been working without undertaking health control, increasing the risk of some diseases like tuberculosis.

Yes, while the Armenian diaspora who issupported by the Westwern media and politicians spends huge amounts of money to make their propopaganda of genocide which depends on forgeries, lies and falsified historical documents, it was Turkey who let these Armenians go on living in Turkey and it was Turkey who provided work for them and did a favor for them.

But now, the Armenians are busy with a slandering genocide campaign against the Turks, obviously angering the Turks and the Turkish welcome. In your Western culture does a favor deserve evil?

Is it normal in your culture?

It would be very surprising to read in a Western journal any lines drawing attention to the cynical contradiction between the Armenian diaspora who spends enormous amounts of money to keep hatred of Turks while their countrymen are in extreme poverty and the Turks who are deliberately shown as criminals of a so-called genocide which they did not commit HAVE EMBRACED THE COUNTRYMEN OF THE DIASPORA WHO WERE GOING TO STARVE TO DEATH FOR HUMAN REASONS!

If the Western media were unbiased and were really respectful to the human and legal rights, it would BE EXPECTED THEM TO ASK THE ARMENIAN DIASPORA WHY IT WAS NOT THEMSELVES BUT THE TURKS WHO PROVIDED WORK FOR THEİR COUNTRYMEN WHO ARE GOİNG TO STARVE TO DEATH UNLESS INTERVENED, UNTIL NOW! It would also be surprising to read in Western newspapers about that US officials are critisized because of not considering alien Mexican workers as "Mexican currently living in the US without citizenship".
17:04 March 20, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg

You have spoken the truth and spoken it so beautifully and so reasonably that it shines

Through ignorance, the kind that Alex Coman talks about, the spiteful enemies of Turkey ( among them Greeks, and some Arabs who were persuaded by Lawrence of Arabia to rebel against the Turks so that the Ottoman Empire and the Ummah could be dissolved into 22 Arab states - each to his own Sheikhdom and fiefdom - in consonance with Imperialism's grand policy of divide and rule even as they now complain about a lack of Islamic Unity) - they and their allies who would like to keep Mighty NATO Turkey out of the EU would like to give the impression that the Turkish people or the Turkish government is xenophobic; most of us know that this is very far from the truth and that many refugees from the Middle East, and Iran, have arrived in Sweden via Turkey.

We are not kids. We also know this:


Mona Sahlin and her band (The Social Democrats) at this time would like to take a few shots at the Alliance and it seems willy-nilly will use anything that they can, although Sweden has more pressing domestic and International problems than passing final judgments on the First World War or even (blessings on Raoul Wallenberg) the Swedish role in the Second World War - or Freedom of speech in both Stockholm and Malmö in relation to events in the Middle East.

I don't think that it's very nationalistic to jeopardise the role or the image of Sweden in the world by pandering to a certain elements in the electorate just because you want to win an election. It's realpolitik alright but it should still be Sweden first, with Stockholm as Sweden's undivided capital!

I wonder whether she (Mona from Arizona) has got the clarity that has been eluding her, about NATO and probably the next question will be about the EURO (question for Anders Borg?
19:22 March 20, 2010 by gaia_goddess
My comment regarding Russia was intended to demonstrate how disgusting those "threats" sound, ie "you Armenians are starving, you NEED us Turks, so just shut up and kiss ass." (Not sure where they get the whole "starving" thing, btw.) I'm not a fan of Russia, their politics and chauvinist attitude.

Regarding the whole "Turkey FEEDS 100,000 illegal Armenians!!" thing...

1) First of all, it is a question whether having illegal immigrants is not actually a good thing - it's a cheap workforce, after all.

2) You want to kick them out? Fine, go ahead. I wonder how that's going to happen. I wonder how that will make you look, with all the genocide talk thrown in.

3) That's Turkey's whole POINT! It's what their politics is built on! Namely: "we are so nice to the Armenians - we want to be friends! They are the ones who hate us!" That's why they "feed" those illegal Armenians. That's why they are trying to open the border with Armenia. That's why they always give at least 10 points to Armenia during Eurovision. It's so simple, really. The fun part is that they combine this sleazy attitude with whispered threats. It's nauseating.
21:20 March 20, 2010 by Uncle
I say, if Turkey wants to kick out the illegal armenians (who actually are refused citizenship on a racist basis, since many of them were actually BORN in Turkey) - fine! Absolutely legitimate move. But do it not BECAUSE someone else has agreed that you have made a horrible mistake. Do it because that is the law, because this is what is acceptable, because this is what is good for your economy and not because of what Sweden thinks.

And most of all - shut the #%#& up IF Israel decides to load all the non-citizen palestinians onto buses and throw them back to Jordan and Egypt - where they belonged up until the 6 days war, eh?
22:41 March 20, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg

No dis-respect meant.

I heard it on TV: let Egypt take care of Gaza (but instead of that they are busy constructing a wall - not a tunnel and don't want to import any more trouble from Gaza into Egypt. Sad, isn't it?

And whenever the Jordanians think that things are getting a little hot in Judea and Samaria, such as after a Jordanian border guard had shot down and killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in cold blood, and wounded six in the group of schoolgirls on March 13, 1997 - they closed the gates to any Palestinians who might want to emigrate to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan which with a 70 % Palestinian population is recognized as the state that Palestinians want and that is already in existence. Or to immigrate to any other Arab territories only to wind up in refugee camps - a deliberate Arab policy. But not so in Sweden where they may become Citizens.

Your hardliner tolerance - in what you recommend if necessary, you sound like early Avigdor Lieberman and no different from Meir Kahane : to "load all the non-citizen palestinians onto buses and throw them back to Jordan and Egypt - where they belonged up until the 6 days war", would that not tantamount to ethnic cleansing, in the name of the law?

It could even lead to more tit for tit (you expel my ambassador and I'll expel yours (etc

Immigration policies still vary from country to country within the EU and Turkey as a member of the EU would certainly have a free hand in dealing with "illegal" residents, no doubt. Turkey will perhaps continue to be a transition point for refugees coming from Iran and the Middle East countries unto Sweden. Who knows?


The current situation of Turks in Germany is as follows:


In response to more specific requests, Pa Google had more to reveal.

I've just read the Der Spiegel interview with Egemen Bagis - it was not as lucid as Ingrid Hedström's interview with him in Dagens Nyheter (15/3/2010)

An interesting excerpt from Der Spiegel:

"Bagis: With this decision, Sweden has become slave to a thesis that, unfortunately, is based on falsehoods. The voting in the US on the so-called genocide was a success for Turkey. The Congressman from California, who got support from the Armenian lobby, made a fool out of himself. He tried to scratch the back of every Representative in the corridors of Congress in order to get their vote. But then he only won by a single vote.

SPIEGEL: Still, a Congressional committee approved the resolution.

Bagis: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later declared that the resolution will not be passed by the entire House of Representatives…."
01:09 March 21, 2010 by Uncle
Cornelius - you are like a light in the darkness of illiterate hatred... For real. Finally someone with more than theoretical/news agencies knowledge. And notice - I say it in spite of that it may look that we disagree..

Of course I understand that loading them into buses and transferring them back to where they originally belong, is not realistic. Especially due to the fact that Egypt and Jordan become all red and white when they hear such proposals. I actually think that these countries lost the wars against Israel on PURPOSE to get rid of this wonderful population. Smart move I must say.

All I am saying is that Erdogan has no shame after he started kissing arab behind with his verbal attacks against Israel WHILE bombing the Kurds to shreds and WHILE threatening to do whatever even Kahana could not do in Israel. I mean - he does not even have the political sleekness. Just aggressive idiocy as even some Turks testified here.
02:49 March 21, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg


The good service you can continue to do is to explain - for all of us - so that we learn something on the way…

PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's very demonstrable behavior towards president Shimon Peres at that meet (on stage with the microphone) was to say the least both unexpected and disconcerting - perhaps not premeditated just compulsive - considering that right up to that time, the very recent Israel -Turkey military cooperation and also considering what is or at least was understood to be Mr. Peres' perennial philosophy of water being the life-saving oxygen of the Middle East crisis - not just de-salinated water but also the Euphrates which starts somewhere up there in Turkey whilst the old terror expert Arafat would be chiming " Next year Jerusalem and those who don't like it can go drink the waters of the dead sea"… or learn how to swim….

On stage the Turkish PM was playing up to the Arab gallery - and to Iran too I guess. Turkey is not part of the Arab League (although nearly the whole of Turkey is Hanafi) - and Turkey is not in Shia Iran's Hamas - Hezbollah axis of evil either. But there is a general feeling of emotional and verbal solidarity - more verbal than destructive ( or constructive) amongst the members of the OIC - and - I don't know this, but doesn't the US need Turkey ( second best pilots in the world, biggest land army in Europe etc - and of course the strategic buffer zone in that important Mediterranean sea?

My disposition would be to court Turkey our old friend - one of the first to recognize Israel and gently lead him back to the glory of such a friendship - unto the future. The Chinese understand and value friendship and that's why they are succeeding and will be succeeding in Obama's Africa. Whilst some US's diplomats may be talking "big grammar " - as we say in Nigeria - and preaching democracy and Human rights ( " pretentious monkeys" - says Mugabe) the humble China-Africa representative takes the African president by the arm and they walking hand in hand as he asks , in what John Wayne might despise as Chinese English, " We make friendship? " " We make friendship and do business, yes? "The answer is invariably yes and the deal is in the bag or portfolio, there and then or soon thereafter.

The Kurds … The Kurds are not only angry with the Prime Minister of Turkey. I think that they are also angry with Mona Sahlin….
12:57 March 21, 2010 by Uncle
I believe that a comparison of Israel (relatively small GDP, a lot of emotional weight to the name, democracy etc) to China (the owner of american debt, member in security council, disregard of the will of own population) is a bit incorrect.

Israel was always a child in the play of Americans and Soviets and now of Sunnis and Shias. Belonging to a certain camp is made always by declaration of your own stance in regards to Israel.

Turkey wanted to be in the EU - it LOVED Israel. Now it threatens to turn east - it criticizes Israel. Venezuela hates Israel, Columbia loves Israel. Arabs hated Israel, Persia loved it. Iran hates Israel, arabs start to recognize Israel. Cuba hated it, South Africa was a good friend etc...

It is a reference point for camp title. Nobody except the naive european population gives a rats a#& about palestinians. LEAST of all the arabs who pound on palestinians from Syria, through Lebanon to Jordan and Egypt. Thousands of them died under the arab heavy hand in the last 50 years.

Friendship or enmity with Israel is not important. It is not a a factor to anyone. Israel cannot come and take by hand quietly and promise "We do business, yes?" The camp belonging is much more important than Jaffa oranges and even UAV's.

The minimum that one can do is highlight the double standards of Erdogans, Ahmadinejads and Omar al-Bashirs and remove Israel from being a reference point for every politician in the world.
16:58 March 21, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg

All that you say is well taken.

It's quite a task with Israel forever centre stage to " remove Israel from being a reference point for every politician in the world. "

Israel leaves Southern Lebanon and se what happened :4,000 Hezbollah rockets rained down

Israel leaves Gaza lock stock and barrel and it becomes a veritable rocket Hamastan

I was being a little personal here, to you:

05:59 March 26, 2010 by atriple
Fair enough - all turks in Europe go home in exchange for 100,000 Christian Armenians.
13:03 April 26, 2010 by Namik
some commentators here are so ignorant like mona sahlin. the 100 000 armenians in turkey, that erdogan talks about, are staying in Turkey illegally. they dont have visa, they dont have residence etc. they are not supposed to stay in turkey. nobody can blame Turkey if Turkey kicks those 100 000 Armeninans out.

if you think otherwise, show me a european country which tolerates 100 000 people (from a single country) who stay and work in the country ILLEGALLY. if you and mona sahlin cannot show such a country dont give us silly human right lessons. (silly describes 'lesson' here, a necessary explanation for silly people).

Erdogan just said he could deport them, which does not mean he really will do it. but european countries or sweden deports people, silently, without mentioning. so you better stop being hypocrites.

for Turkey feeding 100 000 Armenians is no problem. we can actually feed 100 000 more. what annoys us is the fact that while we are treating Armenians friendly and with tolerance, their relatives acts against us everywhere in the world with hostility. so if we kick the poor and illegal armenians from turkey will the diaspora be sad or they will not care at all? i think they dont care how armenians in armenia suffer? i think mona sahlin cares neither. anyway... it is not business of an incompetent and deficient politician like mona sahlin to slam Erdogan.
Today's headlines
Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

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Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

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