Turkey calls Swedish envoy over permission to burn Koran in Stockholm
Sweden has let the far-right racist leader Rasmus Paludan burn a copy of the Muslim holy book in front of the Turkish embassy building in Stockholm.
Turkey has summoned Sweden’s ambassador to Ankara after the Swedish government allowed a far-right, anti-Muslim racist leader to burn a copy of the Koran outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, diplomatic sources said.
Rasmus Paludan, convicted racist, received permission from the Swedish government on Saturday 21 January to burn the Muslim holy book in front of the embassy building. Washington Post reported.
“After learning that the burning of our holy book, the Holy Koran, near our Stockholm embassy in Sweden was allowed, the Swedish ambassador in Ankara was summoned to our ministry today,” Turkish foreign ministry sources said.
It has been conveyed to the Swedish ambassador that Türkiye strongly condemns the provocative act, “which is clearly a hate crime”, the sources added.
“Sweden’s attitude is unacceptable. We expect that the act is not allowed, and that violations of sacred values cannot be defended under the guise of ‘democratic rights.’
Turkey has also warned Sweden that it is a clear violation of the tripartite agreement to allow propaganda activities by the PKK and affiliated circles, which have announced that they are holding a demonstration in Stockholm.
Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO last May, abandoning decades of military non-alignment, a decision spurred by Russia’s military action against Ukraine. But Türkiye – a NATO member for over 70 years – expressed objections, saying the two countries have tolerated and supported terrorist groups.
Later in June 2022, Türkiye and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum at a NATO summit to address Ankara’s security concerns, paving the way for their eventual membership in the alliance. Seven months have passed since the signing of the memorandum and Sweden has not yet fulfilled the agreed recommendations.
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Rasmus Paludan – a habitual criminal
Paludan, who leads Denmark’s far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party and has both Danish and Swedish nationalities, is a controversial figure.
In 2020, he was convicted of racism and sentenced to prison after he posted anti-Islam videos on his party’s official social media. Although Paludan had appealed the sentence, a Danish Supreme Court upheld the decision and found the politician guilty of racism.
The 41-year-old racist leader said he “wants to mark some freedom of speech” after the hanging of an image similar to that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Stockholm last week drew a strong response from Ankara, Daily mail reported.
It is not the first time Paludan has tried to hide behind the facade of “freedom of speech”. Last April, Sweden’s Malmö was set ablaze when riots broke out following Paludan’s announcement to go on a “Quran Burning Tour” during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
More than 40 people had been arrested, leaving some injured, as protesters took to the streets against Swedish authorities’ decision to allow the far-right leader’s plans to burn the copies of the Muslim holy book.
Paludan also burned a copy of the Koran in 2019, wrapped the holy book in bacon and threw it into the air.
In September 2020, Paludan was banned from entering Sweden for two years. Later that October, he was barred from entering Germany for a time after the controversial politician announced plans to hold a provocative, anti-Muslim demonstration in Berlin.
Danish far-right party leader burns a copy of the Holy Koran in Sweden
Sweden’s support of terror, hatred
Sweden’s backing of terrorists and hateful elements taking refuge in its society came to the fore again last week when a Swedish prosecutor dismissed complaints against supporters of the wanted PKK/YPG terrorist group, who were accused of defaming and threatening Erdogan’s life.
The PKK/YPG supporters had hung a picture similar to the picture of Erdogan from its feet on a pole in front of the city hall during a protest in Stockholm. Swedish prosecutors said that “their actions do not constitute a crime”.
The incident prompted Ankara to recall Sweden’s ambassador, the latest in a series of diplomatic spats between the two nations.
Protest scenes in Stockholm have been a particular issue cited by Turkish authorities in the past, with Erdogan saying members of the outlawed PKK/YPG should not be allowed to parade around Sweden.
In its more than 35-year campaign of terror against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US and the EU – has been accused of killing 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG/PYD is its Syrian branch.
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Source: TRT World