Turkey's demand: Ban blasphemy – Sweden: “No”


Published 1 February 2023 at 15.22

Foreign. Turkey makes a concrete demand on Sweden that risks making the country's NATO membership impossible. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken out about the burning of the Koran in Sweden and is now demanding that the legislation be changed.

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Erdogan has made it clear that he will not support Sweden's NATO membership before the ban on blasphemy is reintroduced in Sweden.

Foreign Minister Tobias Billström (M), however, says that Sweden does not compromise on freedom of expression and believes that Sweden has shown results on all parts of the agreement it has with Turkey.

– Religion is not part of the agreement, Billström tells Aftonbladet.

Finland, which together with Sweden is applying for NATO membership, has different legislation regarding the burning of the Koran. It is illegal to burn the Koran in Finland, as the country retains its age-old ban on blasphemy.

Erdogan has said that Turkey has a positive view of Finland but not of Sweden.

Just a few days ago, Erdogan said that Sweden will be “shocked” by Turkey's announcement about Finland. The talks between Sweden and Turkey have been paused after the recent demonstrations and protests in Sweden.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Turkey will not accept Sweden's NATO membership.

The way into NATO

  • Risk that Sweden will never join NATO
  • Kristersson's desperate attempt to appease Turkey
  • Turkish ruling party puts an end to NATO application after Koran burning
  • Satirical drawing of Erdogan published by SVT
  • Turkey on S-government: "Not sincere. We saw hypocrisy"

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