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Sweden should not expect Turkish support after Quran burning

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that NATO candidate Sweden could no longer count on Turkey’s “support” after an anti-Turkish protest in Stockholm on Saturday, including the burning of a Koran, was authorized.

Sweden should not expect support from us for NATO. If you do not respect the religious beliefs of the Republic of Turkey or Muslims, you will not receive support from us,” said the Turkish president. A few days ago, the far right Rasmus Paludan, at the double Swedish-Danish nationality, organized an anti-Islam action in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm and received permission from the authorities.

During the protest, he burned a Koran, which angered Ankara. “It is clear that those who have caused such disgrace to our country’s embassy can no longer expect any kindness from us regarding the application for NATO membership,” Erdogan stressed in a televised address.

Previously, Ankara had already canceled the visit of the Swedish Minister of Defense. The purpose of the visit was to assuage Ankara’s objections to Sweden’s NATO membership. Sweden’s ambassador to Turkey also had to report on Friday due to the planned burning of the Koran.

Since May, Turkey has been opposed to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance. All members must agree to this membership. Ankara is conditional on Sweden extraditing up to 130 people whom Turkey considers Kurdish terrorists or involved in the 2016 coup attempt.

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