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Finland MP calls for boycott of Turkish kebabs, approves Kurdish kebabs

Workers cut meat at a kebab shop in Istanbul, Turkey on 21 December 2021 [Moe Zoyari/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Workers cut meat at a kebab shop in Istanbul, Turkey on 21 December 2021 [Moe Zoyari/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

A Finnish Member of Parliament has called for a boycott of Turkish kebabs, holidays and cars, as Turkiye continues to insist that Finland and Sweden should not gain NATO membership unless they cease support for groups Ankara views as terrorists.

In a statement to the media earlier this week, Finnish MP, Mikko Karna, urged "citizens to boycott Turkish holiday trips, Turkish kebab restaurants and Turkish-made cars until Turkiye has given its approval to Finland's NATO membership".

Throughout the past week, Turkiye has repeatedly refused to give its approval for Sweden and Finland's bid to join the NATO alliance, while Russia threatened to target the two countries amid its ongoing invasion of and military offensive in Ukraine.

In order to gain Ankara's approval, Erdogan stresses, both Stockholm and Helsinki must first rescind their support, backing and funding of the Kurdish militias in Syria – the People's Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – and their autonomous administration there.

Turkey's balancing act as NATO seeks to expand

The two nations must also deal with Kurdish militant links and elements within their borders, as well as lift export bans on orders for the Turkish defence industry. Turkiye especially sees their support for Kurdish militias as assisting "terrorism", and views it as a national security issue.

"Turkiye's insults are, of course, Erdogan's cold power game, and I am absolutely convinced that Finland and Sweden will be accepted into NATO in Turkiye without any problems," Karna stated. But, meanwhile, he said, Finland could protest against Ankara "by skipping Turkish holiday trips, refusing Turkish kebabs, and … buying Turkish-made cars that have several well-known brands. Let Erdogan taste his own medicine."

In case any Finnish citizens who heed Karna's call crave kebabs, however, he permitted that "it is still worth eating kebabs made by the Kurds."

This is not the first time the MP has publicly opposed Turkiye and its policies on the world stage, as he notably condemned its military operation against the Kurdish militias in Syria in October 2019. He also condemned Spain as a "fascist, francoist state, which should be sanctioned by EU immediately" due to its support for the operation, and stated his support for the Kurds and Catalonians.

Europe & RussiaFinlandInternational OrganisationsNATONewsTurkey
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