Erdoğan harshly slams West over terror, refugee crisis
AA photoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has harshly slammed the West over “insensitivity” amid the growing refugee crisis, while announcing the “joint fight against global terrorism” as a key issue to be discussed during the G-20 Summit in Turkey mid-November.
“European countries that turned the Mediterranean Sea, the cradle of the one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, into a grave, are part of the sin of the death of every single refugee,” Erdoğan said Sept. 3, speaking at the opening ceremony of the B20 conference, a part of Turkey’s G-20 term presidency.
Erdoğan’s words came on the same day as a picture of the lifeless body of a three-year-old Syrian boy washed ashore on a beach in Turkey’s Bodrum district on the Aegean Sea hit headlines in national and international newspapers.
“The body of a three-year-old boy who died on a boat carrying refugees in the Mediterranean Sea washed up on our shores. Won’t humanity give an account of this three-year-old child?” the president said.
Humanity drowned in Mediterranean Sea
“What drowned in the sea were not only refugees, but our humanity,” Erdoğan said. “These are our values that are being drowned in the Mediterranean. Every single refugee who has become the subject of inhumane treatment on the borders, and who are even sent to death intentionally through sinking boats, is the bitter symbol of this reality.”
The president said the images of the refugees were touching the hearts of Turkish people but he had “never observed regret or conscience in the hearts of those who leave them dead.”
‘Global system must change’
Erdoğan also repeated his criticism of the current system based on five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, saying this structure ignored issues that it has no direct interest in.
“That’s why we say ‘The world is bigger than five.’ We say ‘the fates of nearly 200 countries cannot be left to the decision of one of these five countries.’ That’s why somebody has to talks about this. Erdoğan is being depicted as a ‘bad guy’ in the world media just because he talks about it. I will continue to speak the truth throughout my life,” he said.
“Western powers” are losing their persuasiveness in their statements regarding countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya, Erdoğan also claimed.
“Do you know what is being done in these places? ‘There is oil in Libya and Iraq, so let’s seize the oil-wells.’ Isn’t this the situation now? Eighty percent of Iraq’s oil wells are under the control of the West. It is the same in Libya. While all these realities exist, this [international] structure is not acceptable,” he said.
West ‘insensitive’ in the fight against terror
“I express with sorrow that Western countries do not show necessary sensitivity toward the global terrorism that burns many countries, particularly Syria and Iraq,” Erdoğan said, accusing some Western countries of “double-standards.”
“I once again condemn some countries that on the one hand are fighting against a certain terror organization while on the other hand supporting another one directly or indirectly. It should not be forgotten that terror can turn into a disaster terrorizing the entire world. I particularly invite the West to cooperate against terror with sensitivity,” he added.
‘G-20 to deal with terror’
The G-20 Summit will be held in Turkey’s Antalya on the Mediterranean Sea coast this November, and Erdoğan said the fight against terror will also be on the agenda of the world’s biggest economies during the meeting.
“We should let the G-20 contribute at the same to global peace and stability. Because it’s impossible to reach economic targets without providing peace and creating an environment of comfort and confidence,” he also said.