January 29 (UPI) — Turkey’s foreign ministry late Saturday issued a travel warning to citizens planning to travel to the United States and Europe following protests against Turkey.
According to Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, Turkish officials cited recent protests in Sweden and other European countries where anti-Islamic demonstrators burned Korans, with U.S. and European officials urging Turkiye to do the same. of travel warnings.
In one such protest, Rasmus Paludan, a far-right extremist and Danish-Swedish politician who heads the Danish political party Stram Kurs, videotaped himself burning the Quran in front of the Turkish embassy. Did.
“We have recently observed an increase in anti-Islamic, xenophobic and racist behavior in several European countries, as well as an increase in propaganda demonstrations against our country by groups associated with terrorist organizations. Yes,” says the travel advisory.
“These developments, which reflect the dangerous dimensions of religious intolerance and hatred in Europe, underscore the alarming levels of racism and discrimination in Europe.”
The US embassy in Turkey on Friday issued a similar warning to Americans in the country, citing “terrorism” risks.
“Following the recent Koran burnings in Europe, the U.S. government is warning the Turkish public of possible retaliatory attacks by terrorists on Turkish places of worship,” the U.S. embassy said in a statement.
“Terrorists can target places of worship or places frequented by Westerners and strike with little or no warning.”
Canada issued a similar warning, warning of “potential terrorist attacks in retaliation for the Qur’an burning”.
Sweden, a longtime neutral country, has sought to join the NATO military alliance along with neighboring Finland in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Finland and Sweden already have a NATO partnership agreement that began in 1994, but it does not provide security guarantees.
Despite threats from Moscow that would lead to an aggressive response from Russia, these countries have decided to end their official neutrality and join NATO fully.
However, the NATO accession process requires all 30 member states of the alliance to ratify the agreement. This includes Turkiye, which has expressed opposition to Sweden’s accession.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later said Turkey would not support Sweden’s bid to join NATO.