London, City of
By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
“East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine,” despite all steps taken to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.
Erdogan’s remarks came during a dinner organized by TURKEN Foundation in British capital London.
Speaking of the US administration’s decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem, a move expected to come on Monday, Erdogan said 128 countries voted clearly against this decision at the UN general assembly.
He said only a few countries had to vote with the US as they were told to do so in various phone calls in return of financial aids given to those countries.
“Jerusalem, above all, east Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. As the Islamic world, we accept it as it is,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said “the refugee crisis made the make up running down from the faces of some countries, which from time to time dare to give us human rights lessons and made showed their real faces.”
“While Turkey was coming out of one of the hardest humanitarian tests of the last 25 years, most of the Western countries who are the apostles of democracy have failed to pass [this test],” Erdogan added.
Turkish president said the world was changing with a head-spinning pace and all changes have pains, problems and hardships.”
“The period our world is going through is not problem-free either. As Muslims, we lead those who have been affected most from this process of change.
"Some brother countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan have become practice boards where imperial powers square their accounts with each other.
"Unfortunately, Muslims have paid and are still paying the cost of this bloody struggle for the control of oil and underground treasures. Heart breaking cries of the oppressed are rising in our cities, which have been locations of safety and science and wisdom for centuries.”
Erdogan said most of the libraries, mosques, markets and neighborhoods of Homs, Aleppo, Basra and Sana’a have been destroyed.
He said more than 1.5 million people have been killed in Iraq since 2003 and 1 million others perished in Syria in Syria crisis that has continued more than 7 years.
Islamohobia, racism, xenophobia
Underlining that nearly 13 million Syrians, including 3.5 million residing in Turkey, had to flee their homes to take refuge in other countries, Erdogan said those who have sought salvation in European countries had to face a scene they never imagined.
“They faced racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia in those countries who claim to be the cradle of democracy,” he added.
“When we take a look at the European countries, we see that they take Syrian, Asian and African immigrants not as the oppressed but a threat. Especially xenophobia and Islamophobia are making Europe’s body decay as a greater social disease than anti-Semitism of the end of 1930s.”
Emphasizing that Turkey has condemned all terrorists without classifying them according to their ideology or identity, Erdogan said some countries have this approach.
“In our heart, there is no difference between the civilians of Manchester and Paris cowardly killed by Daesh’s murderers and our brothers who lost their lives under the bombs of Assad regime in Hama and Homs,” he said.
He added that Turkey will never make a distinction among the terrorists like some allies do and it won’t permit Muslims to be labeled as terrorists.
Turkish president also praised the activities of TURKEN Foundation and pointed out that the foundation helped Turkey to improve cooperation with NGOs and Muslim communities in the U.K.
“We once more saw how valuable those relationships established by our foundation were, especially following the July 15 betrayal [coup attempt in 2016]. On those critical days when Turkey’s real friends and false ones separated and masks fell, our brothers in the U.K. were in full solidarity with us.”
Erdogan said British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson expressed their solidarity in phone calls following the coup attempt by FETO terror organization. He reminded that Alan Duncan, Britain’s minister for Europe and Americas, were the first high-level Western politician who visited only 5 days after the coup attempt.
“I believe the Turkey-U.K. relations will get even stronger following this visit of ours,” Erdogan added.
The dinner was also attended by the Chief of the General Staff General Hulusi Akar, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, EU Minister and the Chief Negotiator Omer Celik, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul, Energy and Natural resources Minister Berat Albayrak, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Vulture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus, National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim kalin, Anadolu Agency Director General Senol Kazanci and TRT Director General Ibrahim Eren.
Many community leaders from the U.K.'s Muslim NGOs, groups and society were at present at the dinner.
President Erdogan also met Premiere League footballers Cenk Tosun, İlkay Gundogan and Mesut Ozil during the event.
Besiktas football team's legendary coach Gordon Milne was among many guests of the dinner.
President Erdogan earlier on Sunday attended the closing session of the 7th Tatli Dil Forum in Reading city and he will continue his U.K. visit on Monday with a Chatham House address and a meeting with British investors.
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