Turkey, Politics

Erdogan criticizes West's insensitivity towards Syrians

Shame on those who are so concerned about animals and gay marriage but not about Syrians, says President Erdogan

13.05.2016
Erdogan criticizes West's insensitivity towards Syrians Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends an opening ceremony in Turkey's western province Kocaeli (Tahir Turan Eroğlu - Anadolu Agency)

KOCAELI, Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday accused Western countries of being insensitive to the suffering and needs of millions of people in war-torn Syria.

Speaking at a ceremony in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, Erdogan said it was unrealistic to expect those who did not see nearly 600,000 innocents killed by the Syrian regime to act for executions in Bangladesh, referring to the execution of the leader of Bangladesh’s Jamaat-e-Islami party, Motiur Rahman Nizami.

"Shame on those who in the West divert their sensitivity to the so-called freedoms, rights, and law shown in the debate over gay marriage away from Syrian women, children, and innocents in need of aid," Erdogan said.

"Shame on those who divert their sensitivities to the living space of the whales in the seas, seals, [and] turtles away from the right to life of 23 million Syrians. Shame on those who put their security, welfare [and] comforts ahead of other people's struggle to survive,” he said.

"Shame on the slavery-and-colonial-era mindsets that set their eyes firstly on incoming refugees' money in their wallets, and jewelry on their arms and necklaces," Erdogan said, apparently referring to Denmark’s plan earlier this year to confiscate valuables from incoming refugees to defray the costs of caring for them.

In his remarks, the president said that these ordeals would one day end. "The important thing is that we must honorably pass this test, [and] at ease."

Turkey hosts 3 million sufferers and will continue to keep its door open to the oppressed despite dangers and threats, the president added

Syria has remained locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the regime of Bashar al-Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million others have been displaced, according to UN figures.

Around 2.7 million Syrians who have fled the civil war in their country are being sheltered at camps inside Turkey, with many others living in cities and elsewhere.

The conflict in Syria has now driven more than four million people -- a sixth of the country’s population -- to seek sanctuary in neighboring countries, making it the largest refugee crisis in a quarter-century, according to the UN.

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