Turkey condemns Sweden for granting permission to protester to burn Koran in Stockholm

Turkey condemns Sweden for granting permission to protester to burn Koran in Stockholm

Image of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Credit: Twitter@MevlutCavusoglu

Turkey has condemned Sweden after its government granted a protester permission to burn a copy of the Koran in Stockholm.

The Swedish government has been condemned by the Turkish foreign ministry today, Saturday, January 21, after granting permission for a far-right politician, to burn a copy of the Koran outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.

As posted on the Intel Republic Telegram channel, Rasmus Paludan can be seen burning the Islamic holy book in public.

Addressing reporters in the city of Antalya, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told them: “Despite all our warnings, such permission was unfortunately given to this person. No one can call this freedom of expression and freedom of thought”.

A statement was also released by the Ministry: “Permitting this anti-Islam act, which targets Muslims and insults our sacred values, under the guise of ‘freedom of expression’ is completely unacceptable. This is an outright hate crime”.

It was: “another example of the alarming level that Islamophobia and, racist and discriminatory movements have reached in Europe”, insisted the Ministry.

Prior to the religious book being burned, the Swedish Ambassador in Ankara was summoned to the Foreign Ministry this morning. An expectation that permission to hold the demonstration would be rescinded was reportedly conveyed to him.

Tobias Billstrom, the Swedish Foreign Minister, claimed that the government prohibiting a citizen from staging a demonstration would have been ‘very inappropriate’. He further voiced his concerns that the incident would unsettle relations between Stockholm and Ankara even more, leading to another delay in Sweden’s application to NATO being ratified by Turkey.

He tweeted: “Islamophobic provocations are appalling. Sweden has a far-reaching freedom of expression, but it does not imply that the Swedish Government, or myself, support the opinions expressed”.

Recent events in Sweden led to Ankara cancelling a scheduled visit by Pal Jonson, Sweden’s new Defence Minister. Tensions escalated last week after a life-sized effigy of President Tayyip Erdogan was publicly hung from a pole in Stockholm by a group of protesters.

Today’s action led to Devlet Bahceli, Erdogan’s ultra-nationalist ally, insisting that ‘under these conditions’, the Turkish Government would never ratify Sweden’s entry to the Alliance, as reported by gerceknews.com.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com