Turkey summons Swedish ambassador over anti-Turkey demo

Turkey summons Swedish ambassador over anti-Turkey demo
The provocative protest is organised by the Right-wing extremist Rasmus Paludan. He is planning to burn the Koran again in front of the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital.
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Right-wing extremist Rasmus Paludan burnt a Koran in 2022 in Sweden. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/Getty Images)

Turkey on Friday summoned Sweden's ambassador to condemn an anti-Turkey protest planned in Stockholm this weekend, a diplomatic source said.

A right-wing extremist, whose anti-Islamist actions sparked riots across Sweden last year, has obtained permission to demonstrate on Saturday in front of the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital.

The Danish-Swedish politician, Rasmus Paludan, expressed his intention to "burn the Koran", Islam's holy book.

Turkish foreign ministry officials told the Swedish ambassador, "we condemn this provocative action which is clearly a hate crime -- in strongest terms."

They also blasted Sweden's "unacceptable" authorisation of the protest in the pretext of defending democratic rights, the source said.

Ankara told the ambassador it expects Stockholm not to allow the protest to go ahead, according to the source.

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In April last year, Paludan's announcement of a Koran burning "tour" for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan sparked riots across Sweden.

This is the second time in more than a week that Sweden's ambassador to Turkey was summoned.

On Thursday, he was called to answer for a video posted by a Kurdish group in Stockholm that depicted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan swinging by his legs from a rope.

A tweet by the group, Rojava Committee of Sweden, compared Erdogan to Italy's Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who was hung upside down after his execution in the closing days of World War II.

The Nordic nation needs Turkey's consent for its NATO membership bid, alongside Finland.

Ankara says any progress depends on Swedish steps to extradite people it accuses of terrorism or of having played a part in the 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan.