Erdoğan calls for unity of Muslims against war
AA photoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the Muslim world to unite against the wars and terrorism affecting everyone in the region.
“The time has come for the whole region, all of the Islamic world, and even [all of] humanity to unite and act together for its future,” said Erdoğan during a speech at a conference in the Bahraini capital Manama on Feb. 13.
“No country and no society can only think of its comfort and its own future when its neighbors are living in deprivation and its brothers, who speak the same language and turn toward [Mecca], face oppression,” he said, adding that the faith and sorrow of the people of the region were the same.
“There is no guarantee that the things that our siblings in Syria, Iraq and Libya face will not turn to us. Therefore, we need to act right now and no later, he add-ed.
Touching upon the issue of terror across the region, Erdoğan said terror was among the main reasons for the problems in many regional countries.
He said the fight against terrorism and lasting peace could be achieved only through international and sincere efforts in common.
“Therefore, while the legal framework built so far, especially around the United Nations, is of course important but is not enough,” said Erdoğan.
The Turkish president also said Turkey was seeking to create a safe zone that would cover between 4,000 and 5,000 square kilometers inside war-torn Syria.
“We aim to turn 4,000 to 5,000 square kilometers [inside Syria] into a terror-free safe zone,” he said, adding that Arab and Turkmen civilians would be settled in the planned area.
The Turkish leader said the humanitarian situation inside Syria – which fell into civil war in 2011 – was very bad.
Erdoğan said Turkey would continue to play an active role in the global anti-terrorism operations. “Turkey has killed over 3,000 Daesh terrorists in its ongoing operations in northern Syria,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The Turkish president said ISIL was a terrorist organization. “Islam is a religion of peace,” he said.
In August last year, Turkey launched a major offensive called the Euphrates Shield Operation with a view to improving security, supporting U.S.-led coalition forces and eliminating the terror threat along the border.
The Turkish military is currently supporting Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters in liberating al-Bab, a strategic town held by ISIL in northern Syria.