The Finnish police confirmed Tuesday that they had broken up a protest against the Nordic country’s accession to the Atlantic Alliance in which it was planned to burn a copy of the Koran, a gesture that did take place in neighboring Sweden and has provoked the anger of Turkey, on which both nations depend to join NATO.
As detailed by the chief inspector of the Helsinki Police Department, Heikki Porola, to the Finnish radio and television station YLE, the security authorities became aware of the planning of this protest through social networks and contacted the organizers to inform them of the illegality they were going to commit.
According to the chief inspector, the police warnings had their effect and in the end the protest organizers decided not to burn the Koran, although the rally against Finland’s membership of the Atlantic Alliance did go ahead.
Parola has stressed that in Finland it is not unusual for the Police to negotiate with the organizers of protests and rallies in advance. «It is very usual for us to contact the organizer of the demonstration in advance so that the event is carried out in accordance with the law,» he said.
The burning of copies of the Koran in Sweden has resulted in a stalemate in the already complicated negotiations between Stockholm and Ankara for the latter to give the ‘green light’ to Swedish membership in NATO. Turkish authorities have even cancelled trips and meetings with Swedish representatives.
This episode has even led to a scenario in which Finland decides to abandon Sweden and go ahead independently on the road to NATO membership. However, Helsinki has ruled out such a possibility and stressed its commitment to the neighboring country.
Source: (EUROPA PRESS)