Sweden's refusal to probe Erdogan's puppet incident "absurd": Turkish FM

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ANKARA, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Turkish foreign minister on Tuesday slammed as "absurd" a Swedish prosecutor's decision not to investigate a protest in Stockholm in which Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's puppet was hung.

"The decision by the (Swedish) prosecutor's office not to probe the incident is extremely absurd, and we all know what the rule of law means," Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a press conference with his visiting Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the capital Ankara.

The incident was a "racist, hateful, hate crime act" and therefore is also against universal values and is a crime according to international law, the Turkish foreign minister added.

Sweden should not try to fool Türkiye by calling the incident a freedom of speech, Cavusoglu noted.

Either the Nordic country will "fall victim to these mines laid by terrorists" or will walk forward by meeting the requirements of the deal reached with Türkiye, the Turkish foreign minister warned.

Last week, a group of protesters hung a puppet likened to Erdogan by its feet in Stockholm and shared its video footage on social media. Ankara says the protesters were supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Sweden, together with Finland, applied to join NATO in mid-May last year. But Türkiye, a NATO member, objected to the bids by the two Nordic countries, citing their ties with the PKK.

On June 28 last year, Türkiye, Sweden and Finland reached a memorandum of understanding (MoU) before Ankara lifted its veto ahead of the NATO Madrid summit.

The Turkish parliament has not ratified the Nordic countries' NATO bids yet, citing that they have not met Türkiye's requests.

The PKK, listed as a terror organization by Türkiye, the United States and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades. Enditem

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