The Turkish ambassador to Georgia claimed that Amineh Kakabaveh, a Swedish lawmaker of Iranian descent, was associated with Russian intelligence after Turkey’s ambassador to Sweden scandalously mentioned Swedish citizen Kakabahev in an interview last week as one of the people whose extradition Turkey has requested.
Fatma Ceren Yazgan, one of the troll Turkish ambassadors who frequently engage in polemics and discussions on social media, tweeted that Kakabaveh “has links with radical Kurdish left groups who have been known to be in the Soviet KGB tool box.”
Adding a Wikipedia screenshot as evidence of her claim, Yazgan referred to the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, of which Kakabaveh was a member in her youth, as an organization that was allegedly financed by Soviet intelligence agency the KGB. Komala is classified as a terrorist organization by Iran, whereas it continues its activities in the US.
Kakabaveh went to Sweden as a refugee at the age of 19 and later became a citizen. She supported the current government, which received a vote of confidence with a margin of one vote.
In her statement of support for the government, Kakabaveh raised the development of relations with Syria’s People’s Protection Units (YPG), support for the autonomous structure of the Rojava region, support for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey and the release of its imprisoned former leader Selahattin Demirtaş, drawing a harsh reaction from Turkey.
The YPG is a Kurdish militia group that Turkey says is the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey has carried out five military operations in northern Syria between 2017 and 2022 and invaded some areas near the border. Turkey wanted to prevent the YPG from becoming a bigger threat to itself by getting stronger after the YPG achieved military success against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS, or Daesh), which is widely believed to have been supported by Turkey, and recaptured some Kurdish-populated cities.
After the Swedish government’s decision to apply for NATO membership, Kakabaveh withdrew her support from the government because she was against a NATO candidacy. Since there will be a general election in August, the opposition and the government agreed to continue with the minority government instead of seeking a new government.
In 2019 Kakabaveh was expelled from the Left Party as her views on religion contradicted party policy, according to party Secretary-General Aron Etzler. Kakabaveh’s actions and Islamophobic rhetoric “seriously” harmed the confidence of the party, said Etzler.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Swedish state-run TT news agency on Friday, Turkish Ambassador to Sweden Hakkı Emre Yunt expressed Turkey’s discomfort over Kakabaveh’s activities. When the TT reporter asked if he wanted her extradition, he replied: “If possible, yes. But I don’t know, she must be a Swedish citizen? It is difficult to deport their own citizens. But it is up to the Swedish government.”
The ambassador’s remarks drew the ire of the Swedish media, meeting with contemptuous criticism. Kakabaveh said the person who should be sent to Turkey was the Turkish ambassador. Upon the backlash, the embassy issued a statement saying that the ambassador did not specify anyone.
Turkey opposes the NATO membership of Sweden and Finland on accusations that these two countries support terrorist organizations that threaten Turkey’s security
Yazgan, a former deputy director general of the Foreign Ministry’s intelligence section, is believed to be one of the high-ranking bureaucrats behind the dismissal of Turkish diplomats since 2016. Yazgan is also known as the person who ran the profiling lists for Turkish diplomats who were later dismissed and/or jailed without any administrative or judicial investigation. None of the victims including top ambassadors who once served as advisors to prime ministers and presidents had a chance to challenge the fabricated charges before their dismissal.
On May 20, 2019 Turkish courts issued arrest warrants for 249 former dismissed Foreign Ministry personnel. The diplomats were subjected to torture and threatened with sodomy with batons while in police custody, according to a report issued by the Ankara Bar Association.
It is no surprise that Yazgan may be one of the defendants in the prosecution of people involved in human rights violations after the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan government is voted out of office. Former diplomats reached by Nordic Monitor stated that Yazgan is known for her profane language and that it is common to hear Yazgan’s curses in the corridors of the ministry. They think she is trying to curry favor with the Erdoğan government by appearing to be pro-government on social media and getting along with ruling party leaders in order to become an ambassador to a Western country.