The U.S. embassy in Turkey issued a warning on Monday about possible attacks against churches, synagogues and diplomatic missions following Quran-burning incidents in Europe.
It is the second warning issued by the U.S. in the last four days. The alert said that “possible imminent retaliatory attacks by terrorists” could happen in Istanbul’s main touristic neighborhoods such as Beyoglu, Galata, Taksim and Istiklal. It added that Turkish authorities are conducting an investigation.
On Friday, embassies of the U.S., Germany, France, Italy and several other countries issued security alerts warning about possible retaliatory attacks against places of worship. They could come in response to the holy Muslim book of Quran being burned in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands in the past weeks.
In turn, Ankara warned its citizens on Saturday over “possible Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist attacks” in Europe and the United States.
Turkey furious with the burning of the Quran
Earlier on Friday, Turkey summoned Denmark’s ambassador in response to Copenhagen allowing a far-right extremist Rasmus Paludan to burn Quran.
Paludan, who is a Danish-Swedish dual national, first burnt a copy of the holy book near a mosque in Copenhagen and then a second copy outside the Turkish embassy.
He held a similar protest in Stockholm, which led to Turkey postponing the planned NATO accession talks with Sweden and Finland over their membership bid in the U.S.-led alliance.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said the Danish ambassador was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry where Turkish officials “strongly condemned the permission given for this provocative act which clearly constitutes a hate crime”.
The ambassador was told that “Denmark’s attitude is unacceptable” and that Turkey expected permission be revoked.
Turkey’s foreign ministry later issued a statement calling Paludan an “Islam-hating charlatan” and deploring the fact that he was allowed to stage the demonstration.
“Showing tolerance towards such heinous acts that offend the sensitivities of millions of people living in Europe threatens the practice of peaceful coexistence and provokes racist, xenophobic and anti-Muslim attacks,” the ministry said.
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