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Turkey opens investigation into Rasmus Paludan who burned Quran in Sweden — report

The Prosecutor’s Office also got interested in Edwin Wagensveld, leader of the PEGIDA far-right movement

ANKARA, January 31. /TASS/. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ankara has opened an investigation into Rasmus Paludan, leader of the far-right Hard Line party, who committed a burning of the Quran near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, as well as into Dutch Politician Edwin Wagensveld, who tore apart a copy of the Quran in the Hague last week, Haberturk reported Tuesday.

The investigation was caused by Paludan’s recent displays with destruction of the Quran, committed by these people in Sweden and the Netherlands last week, the report says.

In addition, the Prosecutor’s Office got interested in Edwin Wagensveld, leader of the "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamicisation of the West" (PEGIDA) far-right movement, active in the Netherlands. On January 22, he tore apart a copy of the Quran in the Hague. The investigation has been opened over a number of charges, including incitement of enmity and discord, violation of religious values and public insult of faith.

Paludan’s displays have caused a serious scandal between Turkey and Sweden. In his speech before burning the Quran, Paludan criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and displayed a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad. After that, Erdogan said Sweden should not expect Ankara’s endorsement of its NATO membership application after this and other anti-Turkish protests in Stockholm. Turkish Foreign and Defense Ministers made similar statements.

Currently, the process of approval of Sweden’s NATO membership application has been suspended. In order for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, the Turkish parliament must approve a corresponding bill.