Türkiye summons Swedish envoy over Stockholm's permission for Quran burning

Türkiye Materials 21 January 2023 18:22 (UTC +04:00)
Türkiye summons Swedish envoy over Stockholm's permission for Quran burning

Türkiye on Jan. 20 summoned the Swedish ambassador to Ankara over Sweden's permission for a planned burning of the Quran, Islam's holy book, near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm, Trend reports citing Hurriyet Daily News.

Turkish foreign ministry officials told the Swedish ambassador, "we condemn this provocative action which is clearly a hate crime - in strongest terms."

They also blasted Sweden's "unacceptable" authorisation of the protest in the pretext of defending democratic rights, the source said.

Ankara told the ambassador it expects Stockholm not to allow the protest to go ahead, according to the source.

Previously, the supporters of the PKK gathered in front of the historical City Hall in the capital Stockholm on Jan. 11 and hung a puppet likened to Erdoğan by the feet and shared video footage of the moment on social media affiliated with the group.

The Foreign Ministry on Jan. 12 summoned Sweden’s ambassador in Ankara to lodge a protest over the demonstration in Stockholm.

Sweden and Finland abandoned their long-standing policies of military nonalignment and applied for membership in the military alliance after Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

NATO-member Türkiye hasn’t yet endorsed their accession, which requires unanimous approval from all existing alliance members.

Türkiye said on Jan. 21 that it had called off a visit by Sweden's defence minister.

"At this point, Swedish Defence Minister Pal Jonson's visit to Turkey on January 27 has lost its significance and meaning, so we cancelled the visit," Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said.

"Despite all our warnings, such permission was unfortunately given to this person. No one can call this freedom of expression and freedom of thought," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters in the southern province of Antalya.

"Today, they do not allow the burning of another book but when it comes to the Quran, Islam's holy book, and hostility to Islam, they immediately call it freedom of expression and freedom of thought," he said.