Turkey threatens to block Sweden's NATO bid after a Quran-burning at a protest - DW News.

Sweden should not expect Turkey's support for its NATO membership bid after a copy of the Quran was burned in a Stockholm protest, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. Far-right Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan burnt a copy of the Quran during a protest last Saturday afternoon outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. Erdogan said in a speech after a cabinet meeting, "Those who allow such blasphemy in front of our embassy can no longer expect our support for their NATO membership. If you love members of terrorist organizations and enemies of Islam so much and protect them, then we advise you to seek their support for your countries' security," he added.

The Swedish government distanced itself from the action, but referred to the freedom of expression that applies in the Nordic country. "Freedom of expression is a fundamental part of democracy," Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson wrote on Twitter, "But what is legal is not necessarily appropriate. Burning books that are holy to many is a deeply disrespectful act," he added. His Tweet, on Saturday, was too late to stop Turkey from cancelling a planned visit by Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson. Ankara also summoned Stockholm's ambassador for a dressing down.
On Sunday, dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the Swedish consulate in Istanbul, where they burned a Swedish flag. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom declined to comment on Erdogan's remarks immediately on Monday. He, however, did say, "Sweden will respect the agreement that exists between Sweden, Finland and Turkey regarding our NATO membership," .

Sweden is trying to convince Turkey to ratify it and Finland's bids to join NATO. For a bid to succeed, it would need support from all the military alliance members. Turkey and Hungary were the only holdouts, but Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has promised that his parliament would ratify the two bids next month. Even before the weekend events, Turkey demanded Stockholm hand over Kurdish activists. Erdogan, on Monday, again criticized Sweden for allowing pro-Kurdish groups, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, to hold rallies in the country. The PKK is considered a terrorist group in Turkey, the European Union and the United States, but its symbols are not banned in Sweden.
"So you will let terror organizations run wild on your avenues and streets and then expect our support for getting into NATO. That's not happening,'' Erdogan said.

Subscribe: www.youtube.com/user/deutschewelleenglish?sub_confirmation=1

For more news go to: www.dw.com/en/
Follow DW on social media:
►Facebook: www.facebook.com/deutschewellenews/
►Twitter: twitter.com/dwnews
►Instagram: www.instagram.com/dwnews
►Twitch: www.twitch.tv/dwnews_hangout
Für Videos in deutscher Sprache besuchen Sie: www.youtube.com/dwdeutsch
#Turkey #Sweden #NATO

Watch video on channel "DW News"
Bakhmut evacuates as Russia claims to be closing in - DW News.

Bakhmut evacuates as Russia claims to be closing in - DW News.

A barrage of Russian drone and missile strikes on Ukraine killed a total of 11 people on Thursday, a State Emergency Service spokesperson said, as Ukraine declared a nationwide air raid alert. Eleven more were injured in the attacks, Civil Defence...

Extreme cold has killed at least 150 in Afghanistan, according to Taliban - DW News.

Extreme cold has killed at least 150 in Afghanistan, according to Taliban - DW News.

Taliban officials in Afghanistan say extreme cold this winter has killed at least 150 people. The country is in the midst of its worst winter in at least a decade, with temperatures plunging to nearly minus 30 degrees Celsius earlier in January. S...

Israel, Gaza militants trade fire after West Bank deaths - DW News.

Israel, Gaza militants trade fire after West Bank deaths - DW News.

The Israeli military said early Friday that it carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip after militants fired rockets from Palestinian territories toward Israel. The exchange of fire came hours after nine Palestinians — including at least seven mi...

Who is Chen Chien-jen, Taiwan's new Prime Minister?.

Who is Chen Chien-jen, Taiwan's new Prime Minister?.

Chen Chien-jen is to become Taiwan's new premier, President Tsai Ing-wen announced on Friday morning. Announcing the appointment in Taipei on Friday, President Tsai said, "Today I announced that former VP Chen Chien-jen will take over as head of t...

US NATO enovy: Tank debate shows consensus isn't a liability - Conflict Zone.

US NATO enovy: Tank debate shows consensus isn't a liability - Conflict Zone.

"Consensus is not a liability," the US envoy to NATO told Tim Sebastian referring to the debate among several NATO members including Germany and the United States over delivering Western main battle tanks such as US Abrams tanks and the German-bui...