Denmark reports Turkey row to EU over shooting suspect’s release
COPENHAGEN – Cihan News Agency
The release of the suspected shooter of Lars Hedegaard, an outspoken critic of Islam, has severely strained ties between the two countries since early October.Copenhagen is pressuring Ankara for an explanation regarding the release of the suspected shooter of a Danish writer in Turkey and conveyed the issue to the European Union, the Danish foreign minister has said.
“The government approaches this issue with great seriousness and we are continuing to put pressure on Turkey to get clear answers regarding the subject,” Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said in a statement, Cihan News Agency reported on Nov. 26.
“We are doing this in both Ankara and Copenhagen with a new understanding and Turkey’s Copenhagen Ambassador has been called to the Foreign Ministry again,” he said.
The release of the suspected shooter of Lars Hedegaard, an outspoken critic of Islam, has severely strained ties between the two countries since early October, causing Turkey’s Danish envoy Mehmet Dönmez to be called to the ministry three times over the past month.
The minister also said he also spoke with EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini about the issue “within this week.” Lidegaard and Mogherini had met in Copenhagen on Nov. 20.
Basil Hassan, a 27-year-old Danish man of Lebanese origin, was arrested in Turkey in April on the suspicion of shooting Lars Hedegaard in Denmark in 2013.
Danish media had previously reported that the suspect, who Denmark wanted to be extradited, was used as part of a prisoner swap conducted in exchange for the release of 46 Turkish hostages held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq.
However, official documents reported by daily Hürriyet revealed that Hassan’s release had taken place more than two months before the alleged prisoner swap.