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GENOCIDE

Reinfeldt welcomes Turkish ambassador

Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt welcomed Turkey's ambassador to Sweden, Zergün Korutürk, back to Stockholm on Thursday after her recall to Ankara following the Swedish parliament's recognition of the Armenian genocide.

Reinfeldt welcomes Turkish ambassador

Fredrik Reinfeldt “welcomes that she is coming back to Sweden. It’s good that our diplomatic relations are (maintained),” the prime minister’s spokesperson Roberta Alenius told AFP.

Ambassador Zergün Korutürk arrived in the Swedish capital on Tuesday. Before her departure, she told reporters in Ankara her return to Sweden became possible after the Swedish government distanced itself from the parliament’s decision.

“The Swedish government has clearly said that the decision would not be put into practice,” Korutürk was quoted by the Anatolia news agency as saying.

Korutürk was summoned back to Ankara on March 11th after the Swedish

parliament voted by a narrow margin a opposition-led resolution to recognise

the Ottoman massacres of Armenians during World War I as genocide, despite the

government’s advice not to do so.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt later expressed regret over the parliament’s decision to Ankara, a move which his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan called “very positive”.

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt also said that the position of his government, which supports Turkey’s entry into the European Union, “remains unchanged”.

“Our foreign minister also met his Turkish counterpart and he met some Turkish groups living here, so we’ve been involved in this,” Alenius said.

“We had good relations with Turkey and want this to continue,” she added.

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TURKEY

Turkish government accused of trying to silence critics with arrest of Swedish writer

Charges against a Swedish-Turkish writer who was arrested while holidaying in Spain are an attempt by the Turkish government to silence its critics, non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) claims.

Turkish government accused of trying to silence critics with arrest of Swedish writer
File photo not related to the story. Photo: Petros Giannakouris/AP

Hamza Yalcin was arrested on Tuesday in Barcelona following the issue of an international arrest warrant from Turkey, who accuse him of organizing terrorist acts.

Since moving to Sweden in 1984, Yalcin has written for regime-critical newspaper Odak Dergisi, who according to RSF has angered President Erdogan in Ankara.

“This is an attempt from Erdogan to extend his power outside of the country's borders. He wants to show that he can reach critical voices even if they do not exist in the country. It's an abuse of international police cooperation that risks having major consequences,” RSF Sweden president Jonathan Lundqvist said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Swedish writer wanted by Turkey arrested in Spain

The organization insists that Spanish authorities should dismiss the Turkish accusations and release the 59-year-old to travel home to Sweden.

If he is sent to Turkey then he risks being tried along with over 100 other journalists who the Turkish government has accused of similar crimes, according to RSF. Turkey is ranked 155 out of the 180 countries in the RSF's Press Freedom Index.

Sweden's Foreign Ministry (UD) has asked to meet Yalcin.

“We want to have consular access, and both our embassy in Madrid and our consulate in Barcelona are in contact with the Spanish authorities and have asked for consular access,” UD communications officer Gunnar Vrang told TT.

Yalcin is the second Swedish national to be arrested on Turkey's orders in less then a month. Sweden's Foreign Minister criticized Turkey in July after IT consultant Ali Gharavi was jailed in the country along with several human rights activists for allegedly aiding a terror group. The Swedish government understood that he was there to attend a seminar about freedom of the internet.

READ ALSO: Sweden slams Turkey for jailing activist