Erdogan friends Zuckerberg over pro-Muslim message

Erdogan, who once threatened to ban Facebook in his country, used his official page to respond to Zuckerberg

Afp December 10, 2015
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday praised Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for emphasising the difference between Islam and terror, after the billionaire social network tycoon posted a message defending Muslims against discrimination.

Erdogan, who once threatened to ban Facebook in his country, used his official page on the website to respond to Zuckerberg both in Turkish and in English.

"I highly value Mark Zuckerberg's message for pointing out the profound difference between Islam and terrorism since these two concepts are often mentioned in the same breath these days," he wrote.

"As I always express on different platforms, Islam is a religion of peace. Murderous networks that abuse Islam for their self-serving goals are massacring innocent people every day, particularly Muslims."

Zuckerberg speaks out against Muslim discrimination

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said that the Muslim community should not have to fear being "persecuted for the actions of others" following attacks in Paris and elsewhere carried out by Islamic extremists.

"If you're a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you," he said.

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The supportive message came just days after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump caused international outrage by demanding a ban on Muslims travelling to the United States.

Erdogan, who was elected president last August after ruling Turkey as premier for over a decade, has in the past made no secret of his disdain for social media, vowing to "eradicate" Twitter ahead of local elections in March 2014.

Here's why you can't block Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook

The government blocked Twitter and YouTube days before March 2014 local elections after they were used to spread a torrent of audio recordings implicating Erdogan and his inner circle in an alleged corruption scandal.

He had at the time raised the option of a ban on Facebook, arguing that his opponents were using the social media site to attack him.

But the Turkish strongman appears to have softened his stance in recent times.

His official Facebook page is now used regularly to post his speeches and statements, while Erdogan in February even finally began tweeting from the official handle @RT_Erdogan.


Rex Minor | 5 years ago | Reply Pardon my earlier post. I just checked some facts. After having been the largest Christian Cathedral for a 1000 years, the Muslims converted the Hagia Sophia to a mosque in 1453. It remained a Mosque till 1931, when Turkey converted it into a museum.
Rex Minor | 5 years ago | Reply @Indian: also this erdogan has captured hagia sofia which was christian church! This occurred long before todays President Recep Tayyip Erdogan time. Infact, the Ottomans defeated the Byzanteen empire and with this the city pf constantinople, todays Istanbol! It was their tradition to respect the integrity of the church, the house of God and used it for muslim prayers as well. This can be seen in Budapest, capital of todys Hungary, which they ruled for 250 odd years but has not a single mosque in the city. Rex Minor
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