Norway Stops Qur’an Burning Protest After Pressure from Turkish Govt

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Norwegian authorities cancelled a Qur’an burning protest that was set to take place on Friday after Turkish officials summoned the Norwegian ambassador in Ankara.

On Thursday, Turkish officials summoned Norway’s ambassador to Turkey, Erling Skjonsberg, over the scheduled Qur’an burning protest, which was set to take place on Friday in Oslo outside the Turkish embassy.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced later in the day on Thursday that the permit for the protest had been withdrawn by the Norwegian authorities after the meeting with the ambassador, Turkish news agency Andalou reports.

“You saw what happened in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark. The same thing was going to happen in Norway. It is a hate crime. Hate is not freedom of speech. Today we summoned the Norwegian ambassador. And they have withdrawn the authorisation they had granted,” Çavuşoğlu bragged.

Turkish diplomatic sources claim that the Norwegian ambassador was told that Turkey “strongly condemns Norway’s approach of not preventing the intended provocative act, which is clearly a heinous crime, that this attitude is unacceptable and expects that this act is not authorized.”

The cancelling of the protest comes just days after Finnish authorities also announced that they had cancelled a proposed Qur’an burning that was set to take place at an anti-NATO protest last week.

“We contacted the organiser of the demonstration and told them that this is not legal in Finland,” Chief Superintendent Heikki Porola of the Helsinki Police Department said.

“It is very typical that we contact the organiser of a demonstration in advance so that the event is carried out in accordance with the law,” the police officer added.

The cancelling of the two protests comes after Danish-Swedish anti-Islam activist Rasmus Paludan burned a copy of the Qur’an outside of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, Sweden last month, causing a fierce reaction from the Turkish government, which has vowed to block Sweden — but not compliant Finland — from joining NATO until such protests are outlawed.

There have also been calls from Islamic Sunni scholars to boycott Swedish goods in the aftermath of the protests.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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