Finland MP calls for boycott of Turkish kebabs, approves Kurdish kebabs

StarAvis Desk
StarAvis Desk
4 Min Read
Ozcan Yildirim slices off a piece of a cag kebab at Sehzade Cag Kebap shop in Sirkeci, Istanbul. (Monique Jaques/Corbis / Getty Images)

A Finnish Member of Parliament has called for a boycott of Turkish kebabs, holidays and cars, as Turkiye continues to insist that Finland and Sweden should not gain NATO membership unless they cease support for groups Ankara views as terrorists.

The Turkish kebab covers a range of very different dishes that come in a variety of shapes, forms and serving options depending upon the meat, the accompaniment and the level of spice preferred.

In a statement to the media earlier this week, Finnish MP, Mikko Karna, urged “citizens to boycott Turkish holiday trips, Turkish kebab restaurants and Turkish-made cars until Turkiye has given its approval to Finland’s NATO membership”.

Turkey’s iconic doner kebab has been perfected at Kardeşler Lokantası | © Hale Erguvenc / Alamy Stock Photo

Throughout the past week, Turkiye has repeatedly refused to give its approval for Sweden and Finland’s bid to join the NATO alliance, while Russia threatened to target the two countries amid its ongoing invasion of and military offensive in Ukraine.

The cağ kebab is often both spit-roasted and charcoal grilled. Strips of lamb are packed onto a spit with tail fat to enhance the flavour.

In order to gain Ankara’s approval, Erdogan stresses, both Stockholm and Helsinki must first rescind their support, backing and funding of the Kurdish militias in Syria – the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – and their autonomous administration there.

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Akkaya made or oversaw the making of all the dishes | © Mindy Yartasi

The two nations must also deal with Kurdish militant links and elements within their borders, as well as lift export bans on orders for the Turkish defence industry. Turkiye especially sees their support for Kurdish militias as assisting “terrorism”, and views it as a national security issue.

Kebab (“kebap” in Turkish) means “roasted meat” and refers to various grilled meat or fish dishes.

“Turkiye’s insults are, of course, Erdogan’s cold power game, and I am absolutely convinced that Finland and Sweden will be accepted into NATO in Turkiye without any problems,” Karna stated. But, meanwhile, he said, Finland could protest against Ankara “by skipping Turkish holiday trips, refusing Turkish kebabs, and … buying Turkish-made cars that have several well-known brands. Let Erdogan taste his own medicine.”

Owner Mehmet Akkaya has been here almost every day for 45 years | © Mindy Yartasi

In case any Finnish citizens who heed Karna’s call crave kebabs, however, he permitted that “it is still worth eating kebabs made by the Kurds.”

Turkey’s iconic doner kebab has been perfected at Kardeşler Lokantası | © Hakan Tanak / Alamy Stock Photo

This is not the first time the MP has publicly opposed Turkiye and its policies on the world stage, as he notably condemned its military operation against the Kurdish militias in Syria in October 2019. He also condemned Spain as a “fascist, francoist state, which should be sanctioned by EU immediately” due to its support for the operation, and stated his support for the Kurds and Catalonians.

Beyti kebab

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