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Turkey issues travel warning to Europe following 95.5 WSB protests

Turkey issues travel warning to Europe following 95.5 WSB protests


ISTANBUL — (AP) Turkey issued a travel warning late Saturday for its citizens living in or planning to travel to European countries, citing Islamophobia and anti-Turkish protests.

The warning comes later last weekend’s protests in Sweden where an anti-Islam activist burned the Koran and pro-Kurdish groups protested against Turkey.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has urged its citizens to take precautions and stay away from demonstration areas. He also said they should approach local authorities if they face xenophobic or racist attacks.

Turkey has strongly condemned the burning of the Koran by far-right activist Rasmus Paludan in Stockholm, which he repeated in Copenhagen on Friday. Ankara too summoned the Dutch ambassador after another far-right activist ripped pages from the Koran in The Hague.

The Turkish government also said there had been an increase in anti-Turkish protests by groups linked to terrorist groups in reference to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged a decades-long insurgency against Turkey. Pro-Kurdish groups demonstrated in Sweden, waving the flags of the PKK and its affiliates. The protests are a response to Sweden and Finland’s pledge to prevent PKK activities in their countries in order to gain Turkey’s endorsement of its NATO bid.

Following the protests, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Sweden not to expect support for his candidacy for the military alliance. Turkey has also indefinitely postponed a key meeting in Brussels that would have discussed Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

Earlier Saturday, before Turkey issued its travel warning, the Nordic countries separately issued updated travel guidelines for Turkey. Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have urged their citizens visiting Turkey to avoid large gatherings and exercise caution.

Sweden’s foreign ministry said in a message on its website that the Swedish embassy in Ankara remains closed to the public and that visitors to the country’s consulate general in Istanbul are asked to be vigilant.

“We want to make Swedes in Turkey aware that further protests may occur,” the Swedish ministry said, referring to counter-protests that erupted in Turkey after the events of last weekend in Stockholm.




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