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Turkey summons Norwegian ambassador over protest plan

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The Turkish foreign ministry summoned Norway’s ambassador on Thursday over a planned protest in Oslo expected to take place on Friday, the Norwegian foreign ministry and a Turkish ministry source said.

Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang reported that a group of anti-Islam protesters planned to burn a copy of the Koran at a demonstration outside the Turkish embassy in Oslo, echoing similar events last month in Sweden and Denmark.

Ankara strongly condemned the plans, which it said were a “provocative act”, the source from the Turkish foreign ministry said, adding that the ministry had asked for the demonstration to be called off.

Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) confirmed in a statement that Turkey had raised the planned demonstration in a meeting.

“Our ambassador referred to the constitutional right to freedom of expression in Norway, and added that the Norwegian government neither supports nor is involved with the planned demonstration,” MFA spokesperson Tuva Bogsnaes said.

The Oslo police, which must be notified of public demonstrations ahead of time, were not immediately available for comment.

The police can only ban a demonstration if there is a danger to the public.

A protest including the burning a copy of Koran last month near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm by an anti-immigrant Danish-Swedish politician from the far-right fringe drew strong condemnation from Ankara.

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