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Kurds in Sweden on edge as Turkey presses government to ditch them in exchange for NATO membership

As Sweden’s government survived a non-confidence vote today, its fate was tied to Kurdish lawmaker and former guerrilla Amineh Kakabaveh.
An image of Nesrin Abdullah, Anne Lindh and Aminah Kakabaveh that prompted a reaction from Turkish officials.
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STOCKHOLM & UPPSALA, Sweden — Sweden’s bid to join the NATO alliance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Turkey’s threats to block it have thrust this Nordic nation’s Kurdish minority center stage in a Netflix style drama that is rocking the government of Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and prompting anguished debate over Swedish identity.

On June 7, Andersson and her minority government of Social Democrats faced a no-confidence vote in parliament over the Justice Minister’s failure to curb record levels of gang violence, pushed by a right-wing opposition that smells blood ahead of nationwide elections in September. Its fate seemingly hinged on the decision of Amineh Kakabaveh, an ethnic Kurdish lawmaker and former guerrilla whose swing vote has allowed the government to pass key legislation, notably the budget. Kakabaveh, an independent, lent that support on the condition that the Social Democrats grant their own to the Kurdish-led autonomous administration in northeast Syria.

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