Türkiye urges Sweden into 'concrete action' to stop Quran burnings

Türkiye urges Sweden into 'concrete action' to stop Quran burnings

BAKU. TurkicWorld :

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has called on Sweden to take concrete measures to prevent the burnings of the Quran, a source from Türkiye’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday, reports TurkicWorld with the reference to Daily Sabah.

Sweden and Denmark have seen several incidents in recent weeks where copies of Islam’s holy book have been damaged or burned, causing outrage among Muslims. Sweden’s Embassy in Baghdad was stormed and partly set ablaze by protesters in response to the burnings. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will discuss the crisis at a meeting on Monday.

In a phone call, the source said that Fidan told his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billstrom that the continuation of such “vile actions” under the guise of freedom of expression was unacceptable.

The source added that Fidan and Billstrom also discussed Sweden’s NATO military alliance membership application, over which Ankara holds a veto.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Sunday that he had held talks with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and agreed the situation was dangerous.

“We need to take measures to strengthen our resilience,” he said in a post on Instagram.

The Swedish government said this month that it would examine whether it could change Sweden’s Public Order Act to give police the possibility to stop demonstrations that threatened Sweden’s security.

“Ultimately, it is about defending our free and open societies, our democracy and our citizens’ right to freedom and security,” Kristersson defended.

Tobias Billstrom declined to comment.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sweden’s security service, SAPO, warned that Sweden’s security situation had worsened due to the incidents.

“The image of Sweden has changed. We have gone from being seen as a tolerant country to being a land that is anti-Muslim – that’s how we are seen ... mainly the Muslim parts of the world,” Susanna Trehorning, deputy head of the Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Subversion Unit at SAPO, told Swedish state broadcaster SVT.

However, Sweden’s security-alert level has not been changed and is currently at three on a scale of five, indicating “heightened risk.” Five is the highest level of threat. Further actions are planned in the country where the police received more applications to burn religious texts this week. Kristersson expressed “extreme concern” about a new wave of desecrations that could further escalate tensions with the Muslim world, but he still argued it was “the police making those decisions, not me.”

Denmark mulls action

Minister Fidan also spoke with his Danish counterpart Larks Lokke Rasmussen on Saturday to emphasize that Islamophobia in Europe has reached an alarming level, even turning into an epidemic, and allowing such actions under the guise of freedom of expression is unacceptable.

Fidan urged the Danish government “to take immediate action to prevent these attacks” as well.

Rasmussen told a national broadcaster on Sunday the government would seek to find “a legal tool” that would enable authorities to prevent the burning of copies of the Quran in front of other countries’ embassies.

The Quran burnings in the country have dimensions aimed at provoking and causing harm to Denmark and other nations, the Danish government too, said in a statement.

It added that 15 countries had condemned Denmark due to the Quran burnings, which it described as “extremely aggressive and reckless” and not representative of Danish society.

It said that Denmark will explore the possibility of intervening in situations where other countries, cultures and religions are demeaned to prevent negative consequences for its security.