Turkey's Foreign Ministry late Thursday slammed recent remarks by Sweden's foreign minister against Ankara's military operation in northeastern Syria while meeting via video link with members of the PYD/YPG/PKK terrorist organization.
"Essentially this meeting was not the first in which Ann Linde came into contact with members of the terrorist organization. She previously held talks with members of the terrorist organization and participated in activities organized by people associated with the terrorist organization," the ministry said in a written statement.
"It is a shame that so-called human rights defenders, who are becoming an instrument to the terrorist organization's smear campaign, ignore the massacres, crimes and oppression ... committed by these terrorists in Syria," it stressed.
The ministry also condemned Linde's remarks on social media after her meeting with PYD/YPG/PKK members.
"This attitude raises serious question marks about Sweden's approach to combating terrorism as a matter of priority,” it added, saying that the presence of members of the group's armed wing during the meeting further increased the severity of the situation.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women and children.