ISTANBUL – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Sweden on Tuesday that it should not expect his backing to join NATO following the burning of the Holy Quran outside Ankara’s embassy in Stockholm.
Erdogan’s furious comments further distanced the prospects of Sweden and Finland joining the Western defence alliance before Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary polls in May. Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO members not to have ratified the Nordic neighbours’ historic decision to break their tradition of military non-alignment in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has promised that his parliament would approve the two bids next month.
While, Türkiye on Tuesday summoned the Dutch ambassador in Ankara Joep Wijnands over “a vile attack” on Holy Quran in The Hague. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the vile attack of an anti-Islamic person in The Hague, Netherlands, on January 22, targeting our holy book, the Qur’an,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“This despicable act, which, after Sweden, took place this time in the Netherlands, insulting our sacred values and containing a hate crime, is a clear declaration that Islamophobia, discrimination and xenophobia know no bounds in Europe,” it added. These actions directly target the fundamental rights and freedoms, moral values and social tolerance of not only Muslims but all humanity and it also harms the culture of living together in peace, the statement stressed.
Ambassador Joep Wijnands was told that Türkiye condemns “the heinous and despicable act.”
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