Jakarta, IO – Turkey on Saturday (28/1) issued a travel warning to its citizens planning to travel to the United States (U.S.) and Europe over “possible Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist attacks.” Turkish citizens are also advised to remain calm and stay away from areas where demonstrations may escalate.
“It is being ascertained by the authorities in charge of Indonesian citizens protection. Specifically, is there a threat perspective similar to that alleged by Turkey,” said Foreign Ministry (Kemlu) spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah, reported Katadata, Monday (30/1).
The warning was issued one week after the protest by Rasmus Paludan, a Danish-Swedish politician who burned the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. Although the Swedish government condemned Paludan’s action, they insisted that it was part of freedom of expression. Not long after Paludan carried out his action, Indonesia and several other countries also issued condemnation.
“Freedom of expression must be exercised in a responsible manner,” tweeted @Kemlu_RI.
In retaliation, Turkey refused to support Sweden’s NATO membership bid. Sweden must get the approval of all NATO members if it wants to join the defense alliance.
“Those who allow such blasphemy in front of our embassy can no longer expect our support for their Nato membership,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a cabinet meeting on Monday (23/1). (bp)