Erdoğan: Turkey cannot simply watch the mass slaughter
Turkey cannot simply watch while millions of people from countries bordering Turkey are slaughtered and forced from their homes, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Oct. 3.
He made the statement in his official communique on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, while also reiterating Turkey’s commitment to peace and security.
“We do not have our eye on the territories or internal affairs of any country in our region,” Erdoğan said. “But while the region is shaken by bloodshed, while the mass killing of women, children and innocent civilians continues, it is not possible for us to remain bystanders.”
Erdoğan’s message came as the Turkish Parliament approved a motion authorizing the army to conduct cross-border operations into Iraq and Syria. Parliament also authorized the deployment of foreign troops in Turkish territory, primarily to deal with the growing threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Erdoğan stressed Turkey’s "responsibility as a strong state," saying Turkey’s heritage required that it always struggle for peace and security not only inside its borders but without as well.
The president said Turkey was unaffected by the ongoing crises in the surrounding region and described the country as “the only source of hope for a broad region.”
Davutoğlu: World needs a strong Turkey
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also cited the regional crisis in his message, emphasizing the growing unrest among Turkey’s southern neighbors.
The prime minister said Turkey had opened its doors to its neighbors at a very critical moment while other countries remained largely indifferent to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region.
He said the world was looking to Turkey for strength and leadership in the face of such suffering.