Turkey summoned the Swedish ambassador after a publicity stunt by a Kurdish organization in which the group hung an effigy of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Swedish foreign minister Tobias Billstrom, the foreign minister of Sweden, distanced the government from what he called “threats and hatred against political representatives”
“It is abhorrent to depict a democratically elected president being executed in front of City Hall,” Billstrom said.
The mock hanging was orchestrated by the Rojava Committee of Sweden, a Kurdish group opposed to what they see as Turkish persecution of the Kurds.
“History shows how dictators end up,” the group tweeted, alongside a social media video comparing Erdoğan to Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
The incident comes at a time when the two nations already find themselves in disagreement over Sweden’s application to join NATO.
Sweden had applied to join the military alliance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the move is strongly opposed by Turkey, with Ankara claiming the Scandinavian country has failed to take appropriate measures against Kurdish groups it has designated as terrorist organizations.
Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson had said that discussions with Ankara were “going very well” just one day prior to the incident in Stockholm.