The Swedish Embassy in Ankara was closed on Tuesday due to ongoing protests over the burning of the Quran by a far-right Danish-Swedish politician in Stockholm, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing the Swedish public broadcaster SVT.
“The embassy in Ankara will be closed to the public on Tuesday, January 24, as demonstrations are expected in front of the embassy,” the Swedish Foreign Ministry announced on the Sweden Abroad website.
The incident was staged by Rasmus Paludan from the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party.
Several protests have taken place across Turkey since the Quran burning in Stockholm on Saturday.
On Tuesday a protest was held in front of the Swedish Embassy in Ankara in which a group of people and some Islamic organizations participated. Protesters expect an official apology from the Swedish government.
The Swedish Embassy also closed on Monday due to protests.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry on Sunday called on Swedes in Turkey to avoid large crowds and rallies and to stay updated on developments.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Monday that Sweden should not expect Turkey to support Sweden’s request to join NATO. The news came after the Quran burning, which he called an insult to all, not the least to Muslims.
Muslims consider the Quran the sacred word of God and view any intentional damage or show of disrespect towards it as deeply offensive.
The burning of the Quran has further heightened tensions between Turkey and Sweden, which have increased due to Turkey’s opposition to Sweden joining the NATO military alliance.
In April 2022 Paludan’s announcement of a Quran burning “tour” for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan sparked riots across Sweden.
Both Sweden and its neighbor Finland are hoping to join NATO, dropping decades of military non-alignment in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, they need the consent of Turkey, a member of the alliance, to join.
Turkey has stated that its approval is conditional on Swedish steps to extradite 130 people it accuses of terrorism or of having played a part in a 2016 coup attempt against President Erdoğan.