Foreign Office confirms: Swedish citizen held in Turkey

The Swedish Foreign Ministry has confirmed that a Swedish citizen in his mid-40s is being held in Turkey, whose state-run news agency reported he is suspected of links to Kurdish militants.

Foreign Office confirms: Swedish citizen held in Turkey
File photo of a demonstration in Gothenburg in support of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. Photo: Erik Abel/TT

The man from the Västra Götaland region in Sweden, was arrested in Diyarbakir in south-eastern Turkey, said the Swedish Foreign Ministry. A A spokesperson said its general consulate in Turkey was trying to obtain more information from Turkish authorities, including the specific allegations against the man.

Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu said on Tuesday that the 46-year-old man is accused of being a regional leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Sweden.

It said the man, identified only by the initials H.B., had also taken a photograph in front of an image of PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is serving a life sentence on an island off Istanbul.

Turkey claims the man came to the country for secret meetings with PKK-linked individuals.

The PKK has been waging an insurgency in Turkey since 1984. Fighting intensified in 2015 after the collapse of a two-year ceasefire. Ankara has blacklisted it as a terrorist organization.

Swedish-Kurdish writer Kurdo Baksi told Swedish media the man is a businessman and the Sweden representative of pro-Kurdish opposition party the Peoples' Democratic Party.

“This is the most serious case I have encountered in a long time. It is unexpected and strange that he is arrested. His family lives there, he is often there,” he told Swedish news agency TT on Wednesday.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.