The Foreign Minister of Denmark, a NATO member state, has officially placed his country’s relations with Turkey above standing up for the rights of individual Danish citizens. For many of us, this would serve as another in a long list of reasons to jettison Turkey from NATO, not further embrace it.
According to Hurriyet:
Maintaining good relations with Turkey is more crucial for Denmark than the recent dispute between the countries that erupted after the release of the suspected shooter of a Danish writer, the country’s foreign minister has said.
“Good relations with Turkey are more important than the Hedegaard case,” Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard told Danish daily Berlingske, in reference to Lars Hedegaard, an outspoken critic of Islam whose suspected shooter was recently released in Turkey.
The release of the suspect has severely strained ties between the two countries since early October, with many Danish lawmakers and prominent figures pressuring the Copenhagen government to take harsh measures against Turkey.
However, Lidegaard stressed that Turkey and Denmark were collaborating in many spheres, recalling that “Turkey has helped rescue Danish hostages in Syria as well as cooperating in combatting foreign fighters.”
The two countries have strong ties and this relationship is more important than the suspect of the Hedegaard attack, he added.
Basil Hassan, a 27-year-old Danish man of Lebanese origin, was arrested in Turkey in April on suspicion of shooting Lars Hedegaard in Denmark in 2013. Hedegaard survived the shooting.
Essentially, a Danish citizen who is critical of Islam was shot by a Muslim Turk, who has since been released. Instead of expressing outrage, the Foreign Minister is siding with Turkey in the interest of relations between the two NATO countries.
h/t Jihad Watch