Ankara cancels Swedish minister’s visit because of planned anti-Turkish protest in Stockholm

The Turkey announced on Saturday that it had canceled a planned visit by the Swedish Minister of Defense, after the authorization granted for the holding of an anti-Turkish demonstration in Stockholm.

“The Minister’s visit Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson in Turkey on January 27 has lost meaning and meaning, so we have canceled the visit,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said. The purpose of this visit was to try to remove Ankara’s objections to Sweden’s entry into NATO..

The authorization given to a Swedish-Danish right-wing extremist, Rasmus Paludan, to demonstrate on Saturday in front of the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital aroused the anger of Ankara. Rasmus Paludan expressed his intention to “burn the Koran” in front of the legation.

On Saturday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin condemned the planned protest, calling it an “obvious hate crime”. “To allow this action despite all our warnings is to encourage hate crimes and islamophobia “, he tweeted. “The attack on sacred values ​​is not freedom but modern barbarism,” he added.

Video of a hanged mannequin representing Erdogan

On Friday, Turkey had summoned the Swedish ambassador to Ankara to “condemn this provocative action which clearly constitutes a hate crime – in the strongest terms”, according to a diplomatic source.

It was the second time in a few days that the Swedish representative in Ankara had been summoned by the Foreign Ministry, after the release last week of a video showing a hanged mannequin, named as the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This staging was carried out by a group close to the Rojava Committee, support for the Kurds of Syria.

A pro-Kurdish demonstration is also planned in Sweden on Saturday.

Sweden and Finland blocked

Turkey has been blocking Sweden’s – and Finland’s – entry into the European Union since May.NATO accusing them of harboring Kurdish militants and sympathizers whom she calls “terrorists”, in particular those of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its allies in northern Syria and Iraq.

For Ankara, any possible progress depends on Swedish moves to extradite people accused by Turkey of terrorism or of taking part in the 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan.

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