Mehmet Kaplan
Swedish minister Mehmet Kaplan pictured here in 2010, has resigned after his comments that likened Israel's treatment of Palestinians to what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany Reuters

Sweden's housing minister Mehmet Kaplan has quit following comments he made comparing Israel's treatment of Palestinians to what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany.

His stepping down follows a report by the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet on how Turkish-born Kaplan, who is a member of the Green Party, told a seminar in 2009: "Israelis today treat Palestinians in a very similar way to how Jews were treated in Germany in the 1930s". It was the latest in a string of controversies surrounding the minister who also holds the urban development and information technology portfolios.

He was earlier accused by one politician of having a hidden Islamist agenda and he was criticised for being pictured with an ultra-nationalist Turkish group The Grey Wolves. In 2014, he compared Swedish jihadists in Syria to Swedish freedom fighters in Finland during World War Two.

He later apologized and said his comments had been misinterpreted.

On Monday (18 April) the Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven told reporters that he had accepted and approved the housing minister's resignation, saying: "I've come to know Mehmet Kaplan as a man of humanistic and democratic values, but a minister should be able to represent Sweden in an unquestionable way."

Kaplan, 44, got the government post after Löfven's Social Democrats formed a coalition with the Greens in autumn 2014. Kaplan will be replaced by Green Party member and labour market minister Per Bolund, the news website, The Local reported.