Turkish Foreign Minister urges Sweden to withdraw permit from Koran protest
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday that he hoped Swedish authorities would not allow a protest that includes burning the Koran in Sweden’s capital Stockholm.
"This permission is granted to this person, despite all our warnings. This vile act will take place at around 1600 Turkish time (1300 GMT), I hope Swedish authorities will take necessary measures until then and will not allow this," Cavusoglu said to reporters.
The person Cavusoglu mentioned is Swedish far right extremist Rasmus Paludan, who previously on several occasions burned Koran in his country, but as Sweden now demands Turkey’s support in admission for NATO, the incident became a great distress between the countries.
Cavusoglu also said the protest could not classified as freedom of expression.
Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom earlier said he was also concerned that the demonstration could further delay Turkey's ratification of Sweden's application to NATO. He added, however, that it would be "very inappropriate" for him to call for prohibiting a person from holding a demonstration.
Earlier on Saturday, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said a planned visit next week by his Swedish counterpart to Ankara had been canceled after Swedish authorities granted permission for protests in Stockholm, particularly an incident where protestors strung up an effigy of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.