Turkey summons Swedish envoy over permission for protest -source

ANKARA, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned Sweden’s ambassador on Friday over authorities’ permission of a protest near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm scheduled to be held on Saturday, a source from the Foreign Ministry said.

The source said the Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the “provocative” protest, which they said includes burning of the Muslim holy book the Koran, and conveyed Ankara’s expectation for reversal of the permission for the demonstration.

The Foreign Ministry also told Sweden’s envoy that granting permission to a separate protest that is to be staged on Saturday by a group sympathetic to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is a violation of agreements between the countries, the source said.

The incident comes at a sensitive time in bilateral relations when both Sweden and Finland are seeking Turkey’s approval of their bids to join NATO.

The two Nordic states applied last year to join NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but their bids must be approved by all 30 NATO member states. Turkey and Hungary have yet to endorse the applications.

Last week, Staffan Herrstrom, Sweden’s ambassador to Turkey, was summoned to the ministry over an incident in Stockholm in which an effigy of President Tayyip Erdogan was strung up. Sweden condemned the incident, but Turkey said it needs to take a clear stance against terrorism.

Reporting by Huseyin Hayatsever
Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun
Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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