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POLITICS >Turkey’s Erdoğan says his only concern is Islam, takes jab at atheists

JAKARTA

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said his only concern is Islam, while slamming the defenders of terrorists and atheists in Turkey.

“We have only one concern. It is Islam, Islam and Islam. It is impossible for us to accept the overshadowing of Islam. Islam is damaged from what is all being done now. We all have to show the will to categorically deny terrorism without looking at its basis or identity,” said Erdoğan in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta as part of a visit to the Far East and Southeast Asia.

Erdoğan also said some people in Turkey who belong to different sects even defended atheists and terrorists due to sectarian reasons.

“When it comes to speaking, they say 'We are Muslims.' But on the other hand, we see those who defend both terrorists and atheist organizations just because of that sectarian difference. Therefore, we have to be on alert against those people,” said Erdoğan.

Erdoğan also added Islam was at a turning point with sectarianism being the primary problem. 

Turkey does not have a problem with different sects, but terrorist organizations attempt to take advantage of differences in sects under the guise of Islam, he said. In this regard, he named the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as a terrorist organization and said it was damaging Islam and the perception of Muslims in the world.

“The footage disclosed to the world by the hand of this organization greatly damages the perception of Islam and Muslims in the world. We all have to defy this as Turkey does. However, there are some dark powers spreading propaganda that Turkey supported this organization. Turkey has never been involved in that support,” Erdoğan said, adding that the actions of ISIL had no place in Islam.

Erdoğan also said the cost of Syrian refugees to Turkey had now exceeded 6 billion dollars, while criticizing the West over its failure to show as much sensibility as Turkey in terms of refugees.

“They [European nations] are even giving opportunities to refugees coming from the Aegean and Mediterranean to drown in the sea,” Erdoğan said.

July/31/2015

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