Presidency of the Republic of Turkey

10/06/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/06/2020 09:24

“Turkey is the biggest opportunity for western countries in the fight against xenophobia, Islamophobia, cultural racism and extremism”

Speaking at the Mosques and Religious Officials Week event, President Erdoğan said: 'Turkey is the biggest opportunity for western countries in the fight against xenophobia, Islamophobia, cultural racism and extremism. Such cities of ours as Istanbul, Hatay and Mardin are the symbols of the culture of coexistence. Western politicians have many lessons to draw from these cities.'

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a speech at the Mosques and Religious Officials Week event at the Presidential Complex.

'RACISM, DISCRIMINATION AND ISLAMOPHOBIA SPREAD LIKE A POISON IVY IN WESTERN COUNTRIES'

Underlining that while Turkey displays an exemplary attitude regarding rights and freedoms, a diametrically opposed atmosphere prevails in the western word, President Erdoğan said: 'Racism, discrimination and Islamophobia spread like a poison ivy in western countries, which served as the cradle of civilization for long years.'

Stressing that there are news, almost on a daily basis, of people who are assaulted, fired or whose rights are usurped just because they are Turks and Muslims and that people from other ethnicities and religions also endure such acts along with Muslims, President Erdoğan said: 'Neo-Nazi terrorism targets African and Asian immigrants, and Jews, as much as they target Muslims. We are witnessing that an ideological fanaticism similar to DAESH has been poisoning the European societies more strongly with each passing day. Acts that particularly target mosques and other religions' houses of worship have reached incredible proportions. Burning Holy Quran in Sweden, tearing Holy Quran in Norway, encouraging the caricatures that insult Prophet Muhammed under the pretext of freedom of the press in France are just a few of the attacks against what is sacred to us. The terror attack that martyrized 52 brothers and sisters of ours last year in New Zealand laid bare the threat facing the humanity. However, the western world failed to stand up to this threat, which keeps growing like a cancerous cell. What is more alarming is the fact that these attacks against Muslims' sacred values are overlooked under the pretext of freedom of thought. Villains that assault mosques and Muslims' workplaces don't even go under prosecution. The crimes committed by organizations such as NSU that have already been revealed are tried to be downplayed through attempts to label them as 'murders of doner cooks.'

'EUROPEAN LEADERS THAT ARE IN TROUBLE IN INTERNAL POLITICS ARE TRYING TO CONCEAL THEIR INADEQUACY BY SCAPEGOATING ISLAM'

'Targeting Muslims has recently become one of the principal tools that European politicians employ to veil their failures', the President said, and continued: 'Various prime ministers and presidents, too, are now resorting to these cheap policies, which the fascist groups formerly had recourse to so as to garner votes. European leaders that are in trouble in internal politics and fail in external politics are trying to conceal their inadequacy by scapegoating Islam. The last name to have jumped on this bandwagon has been French President Macron. The remarks which Macron made in a Muslim-majority city suggesting that 'Islam is in crisis' amounts to a blatant provocation beyond being a disrespect.'

'SO-CALLED ATTEMPTS TO REFORM THE RELIGION BY THE HAND OF STATE IS ONE OF THE SIGNS OF TOTALITARIAN SOCIETIES'

Underlining that states' duty is to secure the rights and freedoms of the members of every religion rather than interfere with a religion which has billions of followers, President Erdoğan further stressed: 'So-called attempts to reform the religion by the hand of state is one of the signs of totalitarian societies. While talking about a crisis of the Islamic world, Macron is in fact working to conceal the crisis the French society is in the grip of. It is seen that the aim of the law on extremism is actually to settle accounts with Islam and Muslims rather than fight fanaticism. A faith without religion is being imposed on Muslims by means of such concepts as 'European Islam,' French Islam,' or 'Consular Islam.' This mentality, which represents a new version of orientalism, actually clears the path for such abusers as DAESH and FETO while otherising sincere Muslims.'

'SUCH CITIES OF OURS AS ISTANBUL, HATAY AND MARDIN ARE THE SYMBOLS OF THE CULTURE OF COEXISTENCE'

'Turkey is the biggest opportunity for western countries in the fight against xenophobia, Islamophobia, cultural racism and extremism,' highlighted the President, and added: 'Such cities of ours as Istanbul, Hatay and Mardin are the symbols of the culture of coexistence. Western politicians have many lessons to draw from these cities.'