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Türkiye’s Altun strongly condemns attack on Quran, Turkish flag in Denmark

Turkish Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has strongly condemned the repeat of a “disgusting attack” on the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and a Turkish flag in Denmark.

“Danish authorities cannot treat these Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist actions within the purview of freedom of expression. This is utterly unacceptable and dangerous,” Altun wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

“We have unfortunately become accustomed to these kinds of incidents throughout Europe. These are clearly provocations to spark backlash from Muslims and Turkish people to be able to depict us in negative light. We will not play this game, but we will also not ignore it,” Altun added.

His remarks came after members of a Danish far-right group, Patrioterne Gar Live, gathered outside Türkiye’s embassy in Copenhagen and burned a copy of the Quran along with the Turkish national flag.

Altun said targeting sacred values and symbols with the clear intent of stirring violent reactions cannot be considered freedom of speech, adding that Türkiye, which respects the religious beliefs of other communities around the world, expects the same thing from Europeans.

“European governments and civil society organisations must act now, not later, to confront these acts of terrorism forcefully if they are interested in a peaceful dialogue between different religions and cultures. They cannot allow these provocateurs to spread their hate,” Altun added.

Calling on European authorities to address the attack in a serious way, he said: “I also call on Danish authorities to hold these despicable provocateurs accountable. They must also take every precaution to prevent potential future incidents before it is too late.”

Earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Ankara will never accept such “vile actions being allowed under the guise of freedom of expression.”

The Ministry summoned Danish Ambassador in Ankara Danny Annan to call on Danish authorities to take necessary actions against the perpetrators and to take effective measures to prevent the recurrence of such provocations.

READ MORE: Latest Quran-burning in Denmark shows politicisation of anti-Muslim hate

Denmark’s ‘irresponsible attitude’

Earlier, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also strongly condemned the recurrence of the “despicable attack”.

“We strongly condemn the creatures who carried out this arrogant and despicable attack, dehumanised and enraged with hatred,” Akar said on Friday in Türkiye’s quake-hit southern Hatay province.

“We declare and condemn as accomplices those who turn a blind eye to these charlatans by remaining insensitive and silent, and almost incite them to crime by leaving them unpunished,” he added.

Akar stressed that these “hostile, barbaric mentality and actions,” which recently increased in Europe, destroy democratic values and the culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Meanwhile, the Turkish National Defense Ministry on Saturday said “despite all warnings and initiatives, this hate crime committed against all humanity in Denmark has once again remained to be irresponsibly spectated in the name of so-called democracy and freedom of expression.”

It also invited all democracy and human rights defenders, especially those in Denmark, to duty in the name of universal humanitarian values.

Recent months have seen several acts of Quran burning, or attempts to do so, by anti-Muslim figures or groups in northern Europe and Nordic countries.

Is Denmark an example of anti-Islam hate in action?

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