Turkey issues travel warning to Europe and United States. here’s why
Turkey on Saturday (January 28th) issued a travel warning for its citizens regarding “possible Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist attacks” in Europe and the United States. By issuing two separate travel advisories, the Turkish Foreign Ministry advised citizens of European countries and the United States to act calmly in the face of possible xenophobic and racist harassment and attacks. The ministry also urged citizens to stay away from areas where protests could escalate.
The first travel advisory warned of “dangerous levels of religious intolerance and hatred in Europe”, according to a report by the AFP news agency. A separate statement, meanwhile, said “there have recently been verbal and physical attacks on foreigners and acts of racism across the United States.”
The above warnings appear to come as retaliation for similar alerts issued by Western allies warning their citizens in Turkey of possible terror attacks. On Friday, several embassies in Ankara, including those of Germany, France, Italy and the United States, issued warnings to their citizens in Turkey, noting “possible retaliatory attacks by terrorists against places of worship “. Citizens have also been urged to avoid tourist hotspots in Turkey.
Ankara’s warnings also come after Rasmus Paludan, a Danish-Swedish far-right activist, burned the Koran in Stockholm on January 21. Paludan replicated the stunt on Friday outside a mosque, as well as the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen.
Following condemnation of the Quran burning incidents, Turkey canceled a planned visit by Sweden’s defense minister, also summoned the Danish ambassador and accused Denmark of condoning a hate crime.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Paludan’s burning of the Quran and said it was an insult to everyone, especially Muslims. Erdogan also warned Sweden not to expect support for its NATO membership bid, according to a report by the Associated Press news agency.
Finland and Sweden have filed a request with NATO in response to the Russian offensive in Ukraine. Offers to join the intergovernmental military alliance must be approved by all 30 members. Turkey and Hungary are the only members not to have ratified both candidacies by votes in parliament.
(With agency contributions)
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