Turkey summons Danish envoy over Quran-burning protest


COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Turkey summoned the Danish ambassador and accused Denmark of endorsing a “hate crime” after an anti-Islam activist on Friday burned two copies of Islam’s holy guide, the Quran, in a solitary protest in Copenhagen.

Rasmus Paludan, a far-right activist who holds each Danish and Swedish citizenship, had already infuriated Turkey by staging a Quran-burning protest in Sweden on Jan. 21. On Friday, he replicated the stunt in entrance of a mosque, in addition to the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen, and vowed to proceed each Friday till Sweden is admitted into NATO.

Sweden and neighboring Finland are in search of to hitch the navy alliance amid the warfare in Ukraine, in a historic departure from their non-aligned insurance policies. However their accession requires approval from all NATO members, and Turkey has indicated it’s going to block Sweden’s bid — partially on account of Paludan’s preliminary stunt. Even earlier than that, Ankara was urgent the 2 international locations to crack down on Kurdish militants and different teams it considers terrorists.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Company stated the Danish ambassador was summoned to the Turkish International Ministry the place Turkish officers “strongly condemned the permission given for this provocative act which clearly constitutes a hate crime.”

The ambassador was informed that “Denmark’s attitude is unacceptable” and that Turkey anticipated that the permission be revoked, in line with Anadolu.

Turkey’s International Ministry later issued an announcement calling Paludan an “Islam-hating charlatan” and deploring the truth that he was allowed to stage the demonstration.

“Showing tolerance toward such heinous acts that offend the sensitivities of millions of people living in Europe threatens the practice of peaceful coexistence and provokes racist, xenophobic and anti-Muslim attacks,” the ministry stated.

Danish International Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen informed Danish media that the incident wouldn’t change Denmark’s “good relationship” with Turkey, including that Copenhagen meant to speak to Ankara about Denmark’s legal guidelines 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 stated.

After Paludan’s motion in Sweden final week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Stockholm to not anticipate help for its NATO bid. Turkey additionally indefinitely postponed a key assembly in Brussels that might have mentioned Sweden and Finland’s membership.

On Friday, Paludan first burned a replica of the Muslim holy guide outdoors a mosque in Copenhagen. Loud music blared from the mosque as he spoke, in an obvious try to drown his phrases.

“This mosque has no place in Denmark,” stated Paludan in a stay broadcast on his Fb web page, sporting a protecting helmet and surrounded by riot police.

The activist, who has police safety, was then pushed away in a police automobile.

Later, in entrance of the Turkish Embassy, Paludan stated over a bullhorn: “Once he (Erdogan) has let Sweden into NATO, I promise that I will not burn the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy. Otherwise, I will do so every Friday at 2 p.m.”

A lawyer, Paludan established far-right events in each Sweden and Denmark which have didn’t win any seats in nationwide, regional or municipal elections. In final yr’s parliamentary election in Sweden, his get together obtained simply 156 votes nationwide.

On Friday, protests had been held in a number of predominantly Muslim international locations to denounce Paludan’s protest in Sweden and the same incident within the Netherlands.

The protests in international locations together with Pakistan, Iraq and Lebanon ended with folks dispersing peacefully. In Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad, police stopped some demonstrators making an attempt to march towards the Swedish Embassy.

In the meantime, the US issued a safety warning, cautioning U.S. residents in Turkey about potential retaliatory assaults towards locations of worship or locations frequented by Westerners following the Quran-burning incidents.

Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey.

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