Turkish president reiterates call for UN reform after US veto blocking cease-fire in Gaza

UN Security Council, meant to establish global peace, has turned into protector of Israel, says Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Zehra Nur Duz and Esra Tekin  | 09.12.2023 - Update : 10.12.2023
Turkish president reiterates call for UN reform after US veto blocking cease-fire in Gaza


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday reiterated his call to reform the UN Security Council, where the US vetoed a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza the previous day.

"Due to a veto by the US, no decision was reached. It is essential for the UN Security Council to be reformed,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his address at the World Human Rights Day event in Istanbul.

“We have lost our hope and expectation from the UN Security Council,” he said. “Since Oct. 7, the UN Security Council, whose mission is to establish global peace, has turned into a protector of Israel."

Israel resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip on Dec. 1 after the end of a week-long humanitarian pause with the Palestinian group Hamas.

Around 17,700 Palestinians have been killed in the besieged enclave in Israeli air and ground attacks since the offensive by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Erdogan stressed that the Israeli government, backed by the full support of the West, is committing atrocities and massacres in Gaza that shame humanity as a whole.

The “butchers of Gaza” must be held accountable for crimes against humanity, Erdogan said, adding that they will be held accountable “sooner or later.”

“Look, I'm saying it very clearly. Nothing can continue as it was before after Gaza. The account of the oppression, brutality, and barbarism experienced in the occupied Palestinian territories must be questioned both in terms of human conscience and before the law,” Erdogan added.

He said a fair world is possible, but not with the US because it sides with Israel.

The Turkish president said the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being blatantly violated in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories.

“We see the declaration as a cornerstone of humanity's dignified struggle for life, even though it has not been able to put an end to human rights violations. We believe that the declaration has made significant contributions to the creation of global awareness regarding the protection and improvement of human rights,” Erdogan further stated.

“We will continue our struggle with courage so that innocent people around the world can look to the future with confidence. For the children of Gaza, for the Gazan mothers and fathers who embrace their loved ones with tears, we will continue to raise our voices,” Erdogan added.

‘Islamophobia, xenophobia like poisonous vine’

Stressing the “undeniable reality” that Dec. 10 Human Rights Day is observed in many parts of the world even as human rights are trampled upon, Erdogan said: “Islamophobia and xenophobia, like a poisonous vine, stand at the forefront of threats to human rights, entwining Western societies.”

“The majority of those most affected by xenophobic, racist, discriminatory, and fascist practices are undoubtedly Muslims, who make up the majority of immigrants. The terms 'terrorist' and 'terrorism' have been turned into a guise for attacking Islam, demeaning Muslims, and massacring the innocent,” Erdogan added.

President Erdogan stated that attacks on places of worship, business centers, non-governmental organizations and associations belonging to Muslims have been increasing day by day.

“The tragicomic aspect of the issue is that all of this happens in countries marketed as the cradle of democracy and human rights. Perhaps there has never been a time when the gap between words and actions has widened so much.

“Those who do not leave a trace of ash in the grill when it comes to talking are, in practice, writing a veritable book on double standards, lack of principles, and hypocrisy. Apparently, these countries believe that the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations (UN) are only applicable to those they deem acceptable humans,” Erdogan said.

“In their view, non-Western and non-white individuals have no real opportunity to fully benefit from these rights, or in some cases, any opportunity at all. Without explicitly stating it, they reveal the warped mindset of the West by turning a blind eye to cultural racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia,” he further added.

Erdogan also said that Türkiye will resolutely continue to fight against the PKK terror group.

“We will not let go of the struggle against these lowlifes who have been shedding blood, spilling the blood of our citizens, without throwing them into the trash bin of history,” he added.

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