Jens Stoltenberg condemns the Koran burning outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. He calls it a shameful act and says he shares the Muslims’ pain. Stoltenberg is thus not only speaking specifically about the burning of the Koran outside the Turkish embassy, but on a general basis.
– I know that the burning of the Koran in Stockholm has caused strong reactions in Turkey. I understand and share this pain, Stoltenberg said at a press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu on Thursday.
– I personally consider the burning of the holy book as a shameful act, he added. (NTB)
Stoltenberg is thus intervening in the debate in the West that has been going on ever since the caricature dispute in 2005/06. He is thus among those who want a restrictive line. It can happen by reference to the security situation, as the Oslo police did, or it can happen in the form of a law. Then the blasphemy law will be reinstated.
In the current situation, it is the security argument that is used. Turkey knows how to exploit that. They want promises from Sweden. Finland has a ban on burning holy books.
Stoltenberg was in Turkey on Thursday, both to talk about NATO membership and to look at the devastation after the earthquake.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu stood by Stoltenberg’s side at the press conference and said that what they have seen so far from Sweden’s side is not enough for Turkey to let Sweden into NATO.
– We have not seen concrete steps yet, he said at the press conference.
– Turkey’s concerns must be taken seriously, the Turkish foreign minister said.
– The obligations laid down in the tripartite agreement are important to us. The latest provocations, especially in Sweden, have not helped, says Çavusoglu. (NTB)
Turkey has demanded the extradition of Kurds from Sweden, and Sweden has refused some of the requests.
It is not only the Koran burning, but also a symbolic hanging of an Erdogan doll, modeled after the hanging of the dictator Benito Mussolini, that has provoked Ankara. After they were executed, Mussolini and his mistress were hanged upside down at a gas station. That’s a comparison Erdogan dislikes as much as Rasmus Paludan’s Koran burning.
The question is whether Turkey will try to pressure Sweden to introduce a de facto ban on Koran burning. Then Erdogan will be able to claim a major victory for the Muslim world.
It is somewhat strange that Stoltenberg goes to great lengths to fulfill Erdogan’s wish.
If that were to happen, the West would have bowed to the violent man’s veto. That is that you can threaten the West into submission.