TurkeyFebruary 10 2023, 9:08 am

European Turkish Lobby Group Protests Swedish Quran Burning

Swedish media is report­ing that a Euro­pean Turk­ish lob­by group that sup­ports and fre­quent­ly inter­acts with the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment protest­ed in sup­port of Pres­i­dent Erdoğan and Turkey against a Quran burn­ing in Swe­den. Accord­ing to the SVT Nyheter report:

Jan­u­ary 21st, 2023: On Thurs­day, the Stock­holm police grant­ed Palu­dan’s request to hold a pub­lic gath­er­ing near the Turk­ish embassy at 1pm on Sat­ur­day. There, true to form, he plans to burn a copy of the Mus­lim holy book. Accord­ing to Palu­dan, the aim is to “mark some free­dom of speech” against Turkey. This fol­lows Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan’s anger after last week’s action out­side Stock­holm City Hall, when the Roja­va Com­mit­tees organ­i­sa­tion hung a doll depict­ing Erdo­gan by his feet. At the same time as Palu­dan’s Koran burn­ing, the pro-Turk­ish organ­i­sa­tion Union of Euro­pean Turk­ish Democ­rats, UETD, has obtained per­mis­sion for a demon­stra­tion in sup­port of Turkey and Pres­i­dent Erdo­gan out­side the embassy. [Trans­lat­ed by DeepL]

Read the rest here.

Ras­mus Palu­dan is the leader of the Dan­ish far-right polit­i­cal par­ty Hard Line and has Swedish citizenship.

The protest is aligned with the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment, as Erdoğan has said that he would block Sweden’s entrance to NATO for allow­ing the Quran-burn­ing protest. Turkey’s Direc­torate of Reli­gious Affairs (Diyanet) has announced it would file a legal com­plaint against Swe­den over the Quran burning.

The Union of Euro­pean Turk­ish Democ­rats is the old name of the Union of Inter­na­tion­al Democ­rats (UID). The UID describes itself as a vol­un­tary NGO  found­ed in 2004. Its aims include increas­ing the eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal, and social activ­i­ties of Turks and “sis­ter com­mu­ni­ties” abroad with­out alien­at­ing their iden­ti­ties and val­ues and com­bat­ting Islam­o­pho­bia. Ger­man media has described it as a lob­by­ing group for Pres­i­dent Erdoğan and his AKP that empha­sizes Turk­ish val­ues and cus­toms. The Ger­man Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion mon­i­tors the UID, describ­ing it as “nation­al­ist” and incom­pat­i­ble with Germany’s free demo­c­ra­t­ic order. The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) has report­ed sev­er­al times on meet­ings and col­lab­o­ra­tion between the gov­ern­ment and the UID. It is unclear why sev­er­al pub­li­ca­tions have recent­ly been using the UID’s old name in report­ing on this issue.



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