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Bülent Kenes was having dinner when he was named a terrorist by Erdogan: "He hates me"


During the joint press meeting with Ulf Kristersson (M), Erdogan singled out a person whom he demands that Sweden hand over to Turkey - the exiled journalist Bülent Kenes. - It came as a shock to my wife and children but not to me, he says to SVT Nyheter.

Dinner was set up at Bülent Kenes' house and in the background the family listened to the joint press meeting with Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

- One person is in Sweden, I will name him, Bülent Kenes.

This terrorist is an example.

His extradition to Turkey is very important to us, Erdogan said.

Bülent Kene's family was very shocked - but he himself is used to being singled out.

- He is a despot and I am a journalist.

I expect anything from a despot who doesn't care about freedom of speech.

Different theories

Kenes admits it is surprising that Erdogan only mentioned his name and he has various theories as to why.

- He remembers me from my time in Turkey.

I am a household name and he remembers me as an opposition voice.

The second theory is more serious, he believes.

- He hates me.

And that is only because of my journalism.

Bülent Kenes is the former editor-in-chief of the English-language magazine Today's Zama.

The newspaper has links to the Gülen movement, which is labeled a terrorist in Turkey.

Erdogan claims that the newspaper helped plan the coup attempt against him in 2016.

SVT has previously told how Turkish state media published Swedish home addresses of several people that Turkey wants Sweden to extradite.

One of them is the exiled journalist Bülent Kenes.

- Erdogan and his staff believe that I have betrayed them and ruined their image in front of the Western world.

But I have only reported on what is happening in Turkey.

Not afraid of the future

Turkey has requested that Bülent Kenes be extradited from Sweden and the Supreme Court has not yet heard his case.

He says he is not afraid of the future.

- I am not worried because I know that Sweden obeys the rule of law and I hope that the Swedish government does not let me down.

I came to Sweden for continued right to freedom of expression and right to life.

Aras Lindh, Turkey expert and analyst at the Foreign Policy Institute, interprets it as Erdogan knowing that the government itself will not be able to make any such extradition decisions.

- He can express this type of demand in public with the knowledge that the NATO process will not move forward until he may have been replaced elsewhere.

But of course that's something we won't know, he says.

Source: svt

All news articles on 2022-12-19

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