Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Sweden not to expect Turkish support for its bid to join the NATO military alliance, after a protest in Stockholm against the burning of the Islamic holy book, the Koran.
Speaking in a speech broadcast live on Turkish television on Sunday, Erdogan said that Sweden’s response to the protest was “unacceptable”.
“Do not expect any support from Turkey for Sweden’s bid for NATO membership,” he said.
The protest was sparked by an incident in which a far-right group in Sweden burned a copy of the Koran during a demonstration in a Stockholm suburb. The incident has sparked outrage in the Muslim world, and prompted hundreds of protesters to take to the streets in Sweden.
The Swedish government has condemned the burning of the Koran, and the police have launched an investigation into the incident.
Erdogan’s comments come as Sweden is seeking to join NATO, a bid that has been strongly opposed by Russia. Erdogan’s warning could have implications for Sweden’s chances of joining the military alliance.