UPDATE - Türkiye reiterates condemnation of attacks on Quran in Europe
'Insulting sacred books under state supervision, defining it as freedom of expression is not correct,' Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan says
UPDATES WITH HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER'S REMARKS, CHANGES DECK
By Muhammed Enes Calli
ISTANBUL (AA) - Türkiye on Friday reiterated its strong condemnation of attacks on the holy Quran in Europe, terming it a plague.
Speaking at the joint news conference with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto in Budapest, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said he believes the Islamic world will take some decisions at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation meeting on July 31.
"Looking at recent history, there are many lessons to be learned. Everything in Europe started with book burning, and those books were burned under state supervision ... After the burning of books, there were concentration camps, and we know what happened after that," he said.
Türkiye believes that insulting sacred books under state supervision and defining it as freedom of expression is not correct, Fidan said, adding: "Strategic, social, and other developments that will arise from this are not well understood."
Türkiye cannot tolerate the denigration of sacred values, he added.
"We think that European politicians and statesmen are just starting to develop awareness on this issue, and although we see some awareness, how they will reflect this in their practices and policymaking remains to be seen," the Turkish diplomat argued.
"We will continue to show our strongest reaction on international platforms, and continue our efforts to increase international solidarity and cooperation on this matter."
In the past few days, copies of the Quran were burned in Sweden and Denmark, actions that met widespread condemnation from Türkiye, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.
- Türkiye's role in new era
For his part, Szijjarto said the world has entered a new geopolitical and economic era, in which Türkiye's role is "much more significant than ever, not only for Hungary but also for the security of the whole of Europe ... both physical and energy security."
He emphasized that Türkiye is taking significant steps to become one of the world's top 10 economic powers, highlighting the importance of his country walking alongside Türkiye.
"If we didn't establish such a strong partnership, we would make a big mistake, because Turkey will soon be among the 10 most powerful countries in the world."
Szijjarto expressed his agreement with Fidan's statements about the attacks on the Quran in Europe.
"We are a Christian country with a thousand years of Christian government, taking Christianity seriously. I must say that, for us, it is entirely unacceptable. The demeaning of any religion's books and symbols, the burning of sacred scriptures, is absolutely unacceptable," he said.
He added that burning sacred books cannot be accepted as freedom under any circumstances.
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