Europe

Swedish minister quits, accused of links to Turkish radicals

  • Sweden's Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan appears before the media to announce his resignation in Stockholm, Sweden, April 18, 2016, following comments where he likened Israel's treatment of Palestinians to what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany.  Green Party member, Kaplan stepped down Monday amid mounting questions over his contacts with Islamists and ultra-nationalists from his native Turkey. (Jessica Gow / TT via AP) SWEDEN OUT

    Sweden's Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan appears before the media to announce his resignation in Stockholm, Sweden, April 18, 2016, following comments where he likened Israel's treatment of Palestinians to what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany. Green Party member, Kaplan stepped down Monday amid mounting questions over his contacts with Islamists and ultra-nationalists from his native Turkey. (Jessica Gow / TT via AP) SWEDEN OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Sweden's Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan appears before the media to confirm his resignation in Stockholm, Sweden, April 18, 2016, following comments where he likened Israel's treatment of Palestinians to what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany.  Green Party member, Kaplan stepped down Monday amid mounting questions over his contacts with Islamists and ultra-nationalists from his native Turkey. (Jessica Gow / TT via AP) SWEDEN OUT

    Sweden's Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan appears before the media to confirm his resignation in Stockholm, Sweden, April 18, 2016, following comments where he likened Israel's treatment of Palestinians to what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany. Green Party member, Kaplan stepped down Monday amid mounting questions over his contacts with Islamists and ultra-nationalists from his native Turkey. (Jessica Gow / TT via AP) SWEDEN OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Sweden's Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan appears before the media to confirm his resignation with Prime Minister Stefan Loven, right, in Stockholm, Sweden, April 18, 2016, following comments where Kaplan likened Israel's treatment of Palestinians to what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany.  Green Party member, Kaplan stepped down Monday amid mounting questions over his contacts with Islamists and ultra-nationalists from his native Turkey. (Jessica Gow / TT via AP) SWEDEN OUT

    Sweden's Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan appears before the media to confirm his resignation with Prime Minister Stefan Loven, right, in Stockholm, Sweden, April 18, 2016, following comments where Kaplan likened Israel's treatment of Palestinians to what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany. Green Party member, Kaplan stepped down Monday amid mounting questions over his contacts with Islamists and ultra-nationalists from his native Turkey. (Jessica Gow / TT via AP) SWEDEN OUT  (The Associated Press)

Sweden's housing minister has stepped down amid mounting questions over his contacts with Islamists and ultra-nationalists from his native Turkey.

Mehmet Kaplan, a 44-year-old Green Party member and former spokesman of Sweden's Muslim Council, says Monday he has done nothing wrong but was resigning because the criticism against him was interfering with his ability to perform his job.

Kaplan came under pressure after Swedish media published photos showing him dining with Turkish Swedish leaders, including the local leader of the Gray Wolves, an ultra-nationalist group.

He also faced criticism for having compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians to how the Nazis persecuted Jews.

Kaplan told reporters his resignation was "not a confirmation of reports about me that I consider wrongful. I know who I am and what I have done."