The Swedish housing minister has been found to have broken bread with members of known extremist groups including the “Neo-Fascist” Grey Wolves, an organisation reportedly responsible for hundreds of political murders.
Leaked to the Swedish press, the photographs apparently prove the Swedish Green Party politician Mehmet Kaplan has long-suspected intimate links with extremist organisations. The group, labelled as “extreme right”, “neo-fascist”, and “Turkish nationalist” stands accused of hundreds, if not thousands of political and racially motivated murders over the past few decades, reports Aftonbladet.
In the pictures, taken at a dinner last year apparently sponsored by the Turkish-linked business lobbying group EUBA, Mr. Kaplan can be seen sitting at the same table as known radical Barbaros Leylani and president of the Swedish branch of the Grey Wolves Ilhan Senturk.
Barbaros Leylani shot to public attention last week after he made violent remarks at a public meeting of Turks in Stockholm’s central square. Speaking on the topic of Armenians, violence towards whom is one of the trademarks of the Grey Wolves movement, Mr. Leylani said: “Turkey awake!
“The Armenian dogs should beware. Death to the Armenian dogs!”, reports Sweden’s Expressen.
The minister immediately came under heavy criticism for his choice of dining companions while holding high office. Iranian-origin Moderate (centre-right liberal conservative) member of parliament Hanif Bali said of the revelation: “It is very inappropriate. It is obvious that he has good relations with this Turkish national association and they have [invited] a fascists to their events. Kaplan has therefore chosen to have good relations with such a group.
“It is highly inappropriate. I do not understand why the Green Party even associate themselves with these kinds of movements”.
Mr. Kaplan has denied having extremist links, insisting he was a guest at the event and held no responsibility. Speaking through a press officer, he accused Swedish news of “low journalism” for even bringing the subject of his purported links with extremists up in the first place.
This is not the first time the Green Party housing minister has had to fend off accusations of radicalism. In 2014, Turkish-origin former Social Democrat member of parliament Nalin Pekgul accused Mr. Kaplan of being an “Islamist” with a “hidden agenda”. Writing a scathing editorial in a Swedish newspaper, the politician said that with Kaplan’s appointment to the ministry the government had “sent a clear signal to Sweden’s Muslims that the Islamists now have the support of the Swedish establishment”.
Mr. Kaplan accused the former MP of making “sweeping accusations” and of trying to “smear” him.
The Grey Wolves themselves are under observation by a number of European security services, and by some reckonings are among the largest such groups on the continent. A 2014 report in Germany’s Spiegel reported at that time the group had more than 10,000 active members in the country, and were seeking to establish a greater Turkish empire, stretching from Eastern Europe into Asia.
Their desire to spread the bounds of Turkish influence and their hard-line Islamism brings the Grey Wolves into conflict with a number of groups claimed the report, which saw them fighting among others “Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, gays and Christians”.
Breitbart London reported just last week on the activities of the Grey Wolves, with German police forced to deploy baton charges and gas to disperse rioters after Turkish extremists clashed with Kurds in Duisburg. Members of the group were heard to shout “With Allah’s help, we shall conquer you”.