Published On: Tue, Jan 24th, 2023

Turkish Foreign Ministry Slams Koran Burning In Sweden Today

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By Janet Ekstract

ISTANBUL- In a formal statement on Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed an attack on the Muslim holy book, the Koran in Sweden. As the ministry statement read: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms, the vile attack on our holy book, the Quran, in Sweden today (Jan. 21), despite our repeated warnings earlier.” The ministry labeled the incident “an outright hate crime” and added: “Permitting this anti-Islam act which targets Muslims and insults our sacred values, under the guise of freedom of expression is completely unacceptable.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has demanded authorities in Sweden take action against the “perpetrators of this hate crime,” further stating: “This despicable act is yet another example of the alarming level that Islamaphobia and racist and discriminatory movements have reached in Europe.” Turkiye’s foreign ministry also called on all countries and international organizations to act “in solidarity against Islamaphobia.” The ministry was responding to the incident that was perpetrated by far-right Danish leader Rasmus Paludan from party Stram Kurs known as Hard Line who was permitted to burn the Quran on Saturday outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. In response, the Swedish Defense Minister’s visit to Turkiye was canceled.

In addition, on Friday, ahead of the planned action – the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Swedish Ambassador to Ankara Staffan Herrstrom, relaying the message that Turkiye “strongly condemns this provocative act which is a hate crime, that Sweden’ attitude is unacceptable, that Ankara expects the act not to be allowed, and insults sacred values that cannot be defended under the guise of democratic rights.” Meanwhile, Turkish diplomatic sources said that the Turkish government had warned Sweden that allowing such an act was a “clear violation” of the tripartite deal, signed by Turkiye, Finland and Sweden.

Meanwhile, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom had expressed his concern that the protests could further delay Turkiye’s decision to ratify Sweden’s NATO bid. Nevertheless, Billstrom commented that not permitting a demonstration would be “very inappropriate.” A week ago, Turkiye requested Sweden step up and take further action against terror groups in Stockholm while two weeks ago an effigy of Turkish President Erdogan was burned in Stockholm, mocking him and the Turkish government.

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