Tags: Turkey | Denmark

Turkey Summons Danish Envoy over Quran-burning Protest

Turkey Summons Danish Envoy over Quran-burning Protest

Friday, 27 January 2023 10:00 AM EST

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey summoned the Danish ambassador on Friday over reports that an anti-Islam activist would be allowed to burn the Quran during a series of protests in Copenhagen.

Rasmus Paludan, a far-right activist who holds both Danish and Swedish citizenship, infuriated Turkey by staging a Quran-burning protest in Sweden on Jan. 21. He told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that he would replicate the protest in front of the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen every Friday until Sweden is admitted into NATO.

On Friday, he burned a copy of the Muslim holy book outside a mosque in Copenhagen. Loud music blared from the mosque as he spoke, in an apparent attempt to drown his words.

“This mosque has no place in Denmark,” said Paludan in a live broadcast on his Facebook page, wearing a protective helmet and surrounded by riot police.

The activist, who has police protection, was then driven away in a police car.

In his live feed, he said he would repeat the demonstration outside the Turkish and Russian embassies.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said the Danish ambassador was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry where Turkish officials “strongly condemned the permission given to this provocative act which clearly constitutes a hate crime.”

The ambassador was told that “Denmark’s attitude is unacceptable” and that Turkey expected that the permission be revoked, according to Anadolu.

Danish Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen told Danish media that the incident would not change Denmark’s “good relationship” with Turkey, adding that Copenhagen intended to talk to Ankara about Denmark's laws upholding freedoms.

“Our task now is to talk to Turkey about how the conditions are in Denmark with our open democracy, and that there is a difference between Denmark as a country — and our people as such — and then about individual people who have strongly divergent views,” Løkke Rasmussen said.

Paludan’s action last week caused a fury in Turkey, which criticized Swedish authorities for allowing the demonstration to take place outside the Turkish Embassy. Turkey’s president cast serious doubt on NATO’s expansion, warning Sweden not to expect support for its membership bid in the military alliance.

Turkey also indefinitely postponed a key meeting in Brussels that would have discussed Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership, saying such a meeting would have been “meaningless.”

Sweden and Finland abandoned their longstanding policies of military nonalignment and applied for NATO membership after Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. NATO member Turkey, which is pressing the two countries to crack down on Kurdish militants and other groups it considers terrorists, hasn’t yet endorsed their accession, which requires unanimous approval from all existing alliance members.

A lawyer, Paludan established far-right parties in both Sweden and Denmark that have failed to win any seats in national, regional or municipal elections. In last year’s parliamentary election in Sweden, his party received just 156 votes nationwide.

“This is Erdogan’s fault. Now that he doesn’t want to let Sweden into NATO, I have to teach him about freedom of speech until he does,” Paludan told Aftonbladet.

Associated Press writer Jan M. Olsen contributed from Copenhagen.

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
- Turkey summoned the Danish ambassador on Friday over reports that an anti-Islam activist would be allowed to burn the Quran during a series of protests in Copenhagen.Rasmus Paludan, a far-right activist who holds both Danish and Swedish citizenship, infuriated Turkey by...
Turkey,Denmark
516
2023-00-27
Friday, 27 January 2023 10:00 AM
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