“TWe will make our final decision as soon as parliament reopens in October”, said Hakan Fidan, during a press conference with his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto, in Budapest, where he is on an official visit.
Fidan underlined that, in the international debate aimed at analyzing Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Turkey “acted in coordination with Hungary”, the only member state of the Atlantic Alliance that has not yet given the ‘green light’ ‘ to the process.
Today, the Turkish minister recalled that Ankara has already approved Finland’s accession, but insists that NATO respect its own criteria for the fight against terrorism when it comes to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkey’s Kurdish guerrilla, or the People’s Defense Units (YPG), Syria’s Kurdish militia.
The entire European Union (EU), including Sweden, considers the PKK – but not the YPG – a terrorist group, but Ankara has complained for years that pro-guerrilla demonstrations are allowed in Europe under freedom of expression .
At the last NATO summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended a 14-month blockade by lifting his veto of Sweden joining the Alliance.
However, the Turkish head of state warned Stockholm against further attacks on the Koran, the holy book of Islam.
“We hope that Sweden will not tolerate any more attacks against the Koran that offend more than two billion Muslims in the world”, he said at the end of the Vilnius summit, on 11 and 12 July.
For several in recent months, pages of the Koran have been burned in public demonstrations in Sweden, actions described as “terrorist” and “barbaric” by Erdogan.
Today, Minister Fidan underlined that Sweden’s legal reforms have facilitated negotiations, but that, because they are “so recent”, they have not yet led to the necessary practical measures.
The minister also complained about the acts of burning and desecration in Europe of the holy book of Islam, the Koran, staged by extreme right-wing groups, which he described as “unacceptable”.
Fidan compared the book burning acts to those carried out in 1933 by the German Nazi National Socialists.
“In Europe, everything starts with the burning of books, then come the concentration camps and then we know what happens”, argued Fidan.
On his turn, Szijjarto, who underlined Turkey’s importance for Europe’s security, “both physically and energetically”, agreed “fully” with his guest on this point.
“We are a Christian country, a country that has had a Christian government for a thousand years, and we will in no way accept the humiliation of a holy book, whatever religion it may be,” said the Hungarian minister.
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