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UPDATE 2 - Turkish defense chief condemns 'despicable' attack on Muslim holy book, Turkish flag in Denmark

UPDATE 2 - Turkish defense chief condemns 'despicable' attack on Muslim holy book, Turkish flag in Denmark
'Hostile, barbaric mentality and actions' destroy democratic values, culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistence, Akar says


By Sarp Ozer and Diyar Guldogan

HATAY, Türkiye / ANKARA (AA) - Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar strongly condemned the recurrence of a “despicable attack” on the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and a Turkish flag in Denmark.

"We strongly condemn the creatures who carried out this arrogant and despicable attack, dehumanized and enraged with hatred, and we declare and condemn 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," Akar said on Friday during a visit to Türkiye's quake-hit southern Hatay province.

His remarks came after the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Danish Ambassador in Ankara Danny Annan and called on Danish authorities to take necessary actions against the perpetrators of this crime, and take effective measures to prevent the recurrence of such provocations.

Akar stressed that these "hostile, barbaric mentality and actions," which have 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."

"We call on Denmark, which is also a NATO member, to immediately abandon its irresponsible attitude towards such attacks, which threaten the common values ​​of all humanity and which is another manifestation of terrorism, and to immediately do what is necessary on behalf of all humanity," the ministry said in a statement.

It 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 Islamophobic figures or groups in northern Europe and Nordic countries.

- 'Cannot be considered freedom of speech'

Strongly condemning the "disgusting" attack, Türkiye's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said Danish authorities cannot treat Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist actions "within the purview of freedom of expression. This is utterly unacceptable and dangerous."

"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 said on Twitter.

He 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 organizations 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."

source: News Feed
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