Friday, March 24, 2023

Turkey issues advisory for travel to Europe after protests

ISTANBUL ( Associated Press) — Turkey issued a travel advisory Saturday night for its citizens living in or planning to visit European countries, citing Islamophobia and anti-Turkish protests.

The warning followed protests in Sweden last weekend, where an anti-Islam activist burned a Quran and pro-Kurdish groups protested against Turkey.

Turkey’s foreign ministry urged its citizens to exercise caution and stay away from areas of the demonstrations. He also said they should go to local authorities if they face racist or xenophobic attacks.

Turkey strongly condemned the burning of a Quran in Stockholm by right-wing activist Rasmus Paludan, which he reiterated in Copenhagen on Friday. Ankara also summoned the Dutch ambassador after another far-right activist tore pages from the Quran in The Hague.

The Turkish government also cited an increase in protests against Turkey by “groups with links to terrorist groups”, in reference to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for decades. Pro-Kurdish groups have demonstrated in Sweden, where flags of the PKK and affiliated groups have been raised. The protest was in response to Sweden and Finland promising to stop PKK activity in their countries in exchange for Turkey green-lighting their NATO membership bids.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Sweden after March not to count on Turkey’s support for its request to join the military alliance. Turkey also indefinitely postponed a major meeting in Brussels that reportedly discussed Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership.

Erdogan then suggested that he might approve Finland’s NATO membership before making a decision on Sweden.

“If necessary, we can send a different message about Finland. Sweden will be shocked when we send a different message about Finland,” Erdogan told a group of youths in Bilecik province.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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