Erdogan calls for fight on Islamophobia as on anti-semitism

Turkish president demands West do more against anti-Muslim sentiment


Afp March 22, 2019
A file photo of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called for a global fight against rising Islamophobia like "anti-semitism after the Holocaust" following the deadly attacks on two New Zealand mosques.

The Turkish leader has presented the mosque attacks by a self-avowed white supremacist who killed 50 people as part of a wider assault on Islam and demands the West do more against anti-Muslim sentiment.

"Just as humanity fought against anti-Semitism after the Holocaust disaster, it should fight against rising Islamophobia in the same determined fashion," Erdogan told a meeting of ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul.

"Right now we are facing Islamophobia and Muslim hatred," he said.
Erdogan said far-right neo-nazi groups should be treated as terrorists in the same way as Islamic State militants.

On March 15, alleged shooter Brenton Tarrant killed 50 men, women and children -- the victims aged between three and 77 years old -- and left dozens injured in an attack that sparked global revulsion.

Erdogan calls Turkey snap polls for June 24

He livestreamed much of the attack and spread a manifesto on social media claiming it was a strike against Muslim 'invaders.'

New Zealand's government on Friday reassured Muslims living in the country they would be 'safe and secure' despite the deadly attacks in Christchurch.

"Ensuring Muslim communities in New Zealand feel safe and secure is a particular focus," New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters told the OIC meeting.

Peters said New Zealand authorities would make sure "no stone stays unturned" in the prosecution of the attacker.

"This person will face ... the New Zealand law and spend the rest of his life in isolation in a New Zealand prison," he said.

Erdogan, campaigning for local elections this month, has angered New Zealand by repeatedly showing the video made by the alleged gunman, an Australian who was arrested.

He has also angered Australia with comments about anti-Muslim Australians being sent back in 'coffins' like their grandfathers at Gallipoli, a WWI battle.

On Friday, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu praised New Zealand authorities and their "sincere solidarity messages".

"We are here to show we are one body against Islamophobic actions across the world," he said.

The Muslim call to prayer rang out across New Zealand on Friday followed by two minutes of silence nationwide to mark a week since the attack.

Thousands of people -- including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern -- stood silently in a park opposite the mosque where the killing began.

E-Publications

Most Read

COMMENTS (1)

Bunny Rabbit | 2 years ago | Reply Yes with Jamal Khashoggi forgotten , now Turkey and US have some new things to talk about .
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ