Turkey has called inn Norway’s ambassador on the carpet – Vårt Land
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the Norwegian ambassador has been called in for an interview in the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
– Our ambassador pointed out that freedom of expression is enshrined in the constitution in Norway, and that the Norwegian authorities neither support nor stand behind the announced demonstration, says press officer Mathias Rongved to NTB.
According to the Turkish state news agency Anatolia it is about a demonstration that will take place on Friday. VG writes that Stop the Islamization of Norway (Sian) has applied for and received permission to burn a Koran in front of the Turkish embassy that day, but it is not confirmed that this event is in question.
After the Danish-Swedish right-wing extremist Rasmus Paludan burned a Koran in front of Turkey’s embassy in Sweden in January, Turkey closed the door to letting Sweden into NATO. Paludan has since loved to burn a Koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Denmark every Friday until Sweden’s Nato application is approved.
Reuters learns from a source in the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the ministry has asked for the Norwegian demonstration to be stopped.
– It must be interpreted in the direction of, because it is controversial around the situation with Sweden, there is more focus on Koran burning now. We saw it with the caricatures, it took time before it started to flare up, says commentator Morten Myksvoll in Bergens Tidende. He has previously run a news site for Turkish politics, and knows the country very well.
He believes that a Koran burning in Norway can also be used against Sweden, and create renewed force for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s agitation against Sweden. Elections are also to be held in Turkey in May, and it has been speculated that Turkey’s reactions to Koran burning may be part of the presidential election campaign.
– Yes, it is probably an election campaign, but also more than that. Turkish voters are largely nationalist, and Erdogan has relied more and more on these voters in recent years. They are happy in conflicts against Europe and the USA, many are religious even if they are not conservative, and Koran burning will make many angry, says Myksvoll.
At the same time, he points out that the conflict with Sweden began with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. Among other things, Turkey has demanded that Sweden hand over a number of alleged members of the PKK.
Jewish communities in the Nordics condemn Koran burnings
The Jewish religious communities in Denmark, Norway and Sweden are deeply concerned about the recent Koran burnings, and call it the normalization of hatred against Muslims.
They write this in a joint, English-language statement.
– We are deeply concerned about recent developments in our country. The number of attacks on minorities such as Jews and Muslims has increased and become normalized in recent years, they write.
The statement is signed by the Mosaic religious community in Norway, the Jewish community in Denmark, the Judiska centralrådet in Sweden, and by the Jewish-Muslim partnership Amanah in Sweden.
They believe that democracy and freedom of expression are being misused to normalize against Muslims by burning the Koran.
– Our tragic European history has taught us that book burners often signal the beginning of a normalization of a social group. Historically against Jews, and currently against Muslims. Any act or sign of prejudice and hatred is unacceptable, and all individuals in democratic societies have the right to feel safe and valued, the societies write in the statement.
This comes shortly after the Danish-Swedish right-wing extremist Rasmus Paludan burned a Koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Sweden in January. Paludan has since loved to burn a Koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Denmark every Friday until Sweden’s Nato application is approved. On Friday, Stop the Islamization of Norway (Sian) will also burn a Koran outside the Turkish embassy in Oslo.