TURKIYE issued a travel warning to its citizens traveling to the United States and Europe, against the increasing risk of possible attacks against the background of Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism.

This warning is the aftermath of the burning of the Koran by the leader of the right-wing political party Stram Kurs, Rasmus Paludan, during a demonstration in front of the Turkish Embassy office in Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday (21/1) last week.

In response to Turkiye’s warning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia will monitor developments and examine the situation to ensure that there is an increased risk of violent attacks against Muslim citizens. This is done to ensure the safety of Indonesian citizens in both regions.

“It is being confirmed by colleagues who handle the protection of Indonesian citizens. Particularly whether there is a similar threat perspective to that signaled by the Turkish side,” said Spokesman for the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Teuku Faizasyah, through a short message, Sunday (01/29).

According to him, Indonesia has not issued a special travel warning to Indonesian citizens, especially those in Europe and the United States. Regarding this act of arson, Indonesia has previously strongly condemned Paludan’s actions. Through its official Twitter account, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Paludan’s actions were a blasphemy against the Quran.

“Freedom of expression must be carried out responsibly,” wrote the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Twitter account @Kemlu_RI, last Sunday (1/22).

Apart from Indonesia and Turkiye, various countries in the world have also condemned this action, from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Even Sweden also condemned Paludan’s actions. Even so, they explained that this action was part of freedom of expression.  

Meanwhile, through two different travel warnings issued Saturday (1/28), Turkiye asked its citizens in the United States and European countries to remain calm. “Act calmly in the face of possible xenophobic and racist harassment and attacks,” the warning read as quoted from Reuters, Sunday (29/1).

In addition, Turkish authorities also asked their citizens to avoid locations where protests were taking place. “Stay away from areas where demonstrations may escalate,” the warning read. [sources/photo special]