Turkiye strongly condemns Quran burning in Sweden

22/01/2023 08:49 AM

ANKARA, Jan 22 (Bernama) -- Turkiye on Saturday condemned the “vile attack” on the Quran, Islam’s holy book, in Sweden.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the vile attack on our holy book, the Quran, in Sweden today (Saturday), despite our repeated warnings earlier," Anadolu Agency quoted Turkish Foreign Ministry as saying in a statement.

Calling the act "an outright hate crime," the ministry said: "Permitting this anti-Islam act, which targets Muslims and insults our sacred values, under the guise of freedom of expression is completely unacceptable."

Calling on Swedish authorities to take necessary measures against the "perpetrators of this hate crime", the ministry said: "This despicable act is yet another example of the alarming level that Islamophobia and, racist and discriminatory movements have reached in Europe.”

The ministry also urged all countries as well as international organisations to take concrete steps "in solidarity against Islamophobia."

Turkiye's condemnation came after Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), was given permission to burn the Quran on Saturday outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.

In response to Sweden's permission, Ankara cancelled Swedish Defence Minister Pal Jonson's upcoming visit to Turkiye.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry also summoned Swedish Ambassador to Ankara Staffan Herrstrom on Friday.

Turkiye warned Sweden that allowing propaganda activities that PKK-affiliated circles were preparing to carry out in Stockholm on Saturday was a "clear violation" of the tripartite deal, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.

Last week, Turkiye called on Sweden to take steps against terror groups after a demonstration in Stockholm, where supporters of the PKK terrorist organisation hung in effigy by the feet a figure of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and then uploaded footage of the provocation along with threats against Türkiye and Erdogan.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last May, abandoning decades of military non-alignment, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine, which started on Feb 24.

But Turkiye – a NATO member for more than 70 years – voiced objections, accusing the two countries of tolerating and even supporting terror groups, including the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO).


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