Turkish PM: Rally Against 'Islamophobia' Too

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hails anti-terror rally in Paris, says he would expect a similar reaction to attacks on Muslims.

Ben Ariel,

Ahmet Davutoglu
Ahmet Davutoglu
Reuters

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday hailed the unprecedented rally against terror in Paris as a strong message to the world, but added he would expect a similar reaction to attacks on Muslims and “Islamophobia”, according to AFP.

Davutoglu joined dozens of other world leaders at the march in Paris to mourn the victims of the three days of terror by Islamists that began with the slaughter of 12 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

“It is a message to the whole world that everyone must confront the threat of terror,” Davutoglu was quoted as having told reporters at the Turkish embassy in Paris in televised comments.

“We would expect the same sensitivities to be shown to attacks on mosque or Islamophobia,” he added after attending the rally which mobilized over a million people in Paris alone.

He praised a comment by French President Francois Hollande that “these fanatics (who carried out the attacks) have nothing to do with Muslim religion” as being of the “utmost importance”.

He said that the attackers had not grown up in Muslim countries but “in Paris” and it was this environment that should be examined, according to AFP.

“Turkey’s stance is principled and we will keep up this attitude,” he said. “Turkey has the same values around the world as far as terror is concerned. There can be no double standards.”

He added that Turkey would continue to raise its voice against terrorism of all forms including what he described as “state terrorism” against the Palestinians and in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has in the past slammed European countries for criticizing deteriorating press freedom in Turkey, saying that they should instead try to find a solution for what he claimed was “the increasing Islamophobia” in Europe.

A staunch supporter of the Islamist Hamas terrorist group, Erdogan has often blasted the Jewish state over its military operations against terrorists based in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas.

Under Erdogan's rule, and particularly in recent years, Turkey has become home to one of the most active Hamas branches in the world. Among the Hamas terrorist masterminds currently based there is Salah al-Arouri, who claimed responsibility for ordering the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June of this year

AFP noted that there had been controversy on social media over Davutoglu’s attendance at the rally in Paris, with critics saying Turkey’s record on press freedom meant his attendance was far from welcome.

The presence of Davutoglu, one of the top Muslim leaders to attend the rally, was seen in Turkey as hugely symbolic given that Charlie Hebdo had often lampooned the Prophet Mohammed.




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