Turkey summons Swedish ambassador over planned Quran burning


ANKARA – Turkey summoned the Swedish ambassador on Friday due to an upcoming protest against the burning of the Quran, state broadcaster TRT reported.

The far-right Danish-Swedish political leader Rasmus Paludan was allegedly given permission on Saturday to burn a copy of the Islamic holy book near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.

Officials summoned Ambassador Staffan Herrstrom to the State Department on Friday to “strongly condemn” the protest, describing it as a “hate crime” and “provocation”. The Turkish officials also told Herrstrom that Stockholm’s granting of permission for the protest was “unacceptable”.

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The Turkish side also expressed its displeasure with a separate meeting of Kurdish activists to be held this weekend.

Turkish authorities summoned Sweden’s ambassador last week over another protest in Stockholm, in which pro-Kurdish protesters hung an effigy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at his feet.

The battle comes as Sweden seeks permission from Turkey to ratify its entry into NATO. Stockholm and Helsinki abandoned their historic military policy of non-alignment and made their bid to join NATO in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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The two countries were formally invited to join the alliance at a summit in June, pending ratification by each of NATO’s 30 members. Turkey and Hungary are the only holdouts. Budapest announced it would soon ratify the extension, but Ankara is demanding Stockholm fully address its security concerns before agreeing.


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