Koran Burning Incident Becomes A Diplomatic Problem … Tensions Between Turkey And European Countries President Erdogan Is Using It To Regain Support? : Tokyo Shimbun TOKYO Web

Turkish President Erdogan (AP)

Tensions have risen between Turkey and European countries after a copy of the Islamic holy book Koran was burned in front of the Turkish embassy in Sweden. As opposition to the incident intensified in Turkey, the United Kingdom, Germany, and other countries have temporarily suspended Turkish consular services, citing “the possibility of terrorism against non-Muslims.” Turkey has strongly opposed the move, and it has developed into a diplomatic issue, such as recalling the ambassadors of nine Western countries to Turkey that took similar measures. (Cairo branch office, Mitsuru Kude)

Turkey recalled the ambassadors of Britain, Germany, Sweden, the United States, Belgium, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy on the 2nd. He is said to have protested against the suspension of operations at consulates and other diplomatic establishments and the warning to his own people that they were “concerned about terrorism.” Turkish Interior Minister Soylu tweeted that the country was “playing psychological warfare against Turkey.”

The Koran burning incident took place in Sweden on January 21, and there were similar incidents in Denmark and the Netherlands. In Sweden, far-right politicians burned copies of the Koran, accusing President Erdogan of violating ‘freedom of expression’, and in the Netherlands, anti-Muslim demonstrations destroyed the Quran.

“Hate crimes against Muslims under the guise of freedom of expression are unacceptable,” Erdogan said on state-run Turkish Radio and Television. He warned that Sweden, which is currently applying for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance with the West, will not be allowed to join as long as it allows the burning of the Quran. All new member states, including Turkey, must ratify the agreement, which could block future procedures.

On the other hand, there is also an opinion that this event is seen as “an opportunity for Mr. Erdogan.” Turkey will hold presidential elections in mid-May, but Erdogan’s approval ratings have fallen due to an economic downturn and inflation caused by the Ukraine crisis. A public opinion poll last December showed that 45.2% were in favor and 52.1% disapproved.

Mr. Jaudat Kamel (Egypt), who is familiar with the situation in Turkey, commented, “Mr. Erdogan is desperate for support. By showing a stance to face the ‘enemy’ of Turkey, he is trying to attract nationalist votes.” do.


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