Turkish PM calls on Turks to stand firm against ‘plots’ to create rift in Europe
ANKARA - Anadolu AgencyTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has called on Muslim Turks to remain resolute against Islamophobia that is "spread using terrorist acts as an excuse" in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack, accusing certain groups of plotting to breed bad blood between cultures in Europe.
“I am saying this in the face of racist reactions that may erupt particularly in Europe: This is the time to keep the Muslim Turkish identity up without taking any offense,” Davutoğlu said, addressing Turkish ambassadors stationed abroad during a dinner in Ankara on late Jan. 8.
In addition to condemning the Jan. 7 killing of 12 people at French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo as a terrorist act, Turkish leaders have also sought to draw attention to the potential consequences of the attack on the perception of Islam and the treatment of Muslims in Western countries.
Prime Minister Davutoğlu also put “the potential threats of Islamophobia” in focus during his speech on Jan. 8.
“All of us should hold our heads up in the face of terrorist acts that abuse a religion that is known and cultivated as the religion of peace, or Islamophobic activities that are being spread using these terror acts as an excuse,” he said.
The masked, black-clad gunmen, who shouted “Allahu Akbar,” killed some of France’s most outspoken journalists, as well as two policemen.
Police have announced the identities of the two suspects as Cherif Kouachi, 32, a known jihadist convicted in 2008 for involvement in a network sending fighters to Iraq, and his 34-year-old brother Said.
“We might not know the identities of those responsible for this attack, but we know this: Both the assailants of this attack and the ones that caused the escalation of cultural tensions feed on the same source,” Davutoğlu said.
He also suggested that certain groups "aiming to trigger an inter-cultural clash in Europe" might be behind the attack.
“The terror in France is an act that should be cursed in all ways possible and the power behind it, whatever it is, aims to plant the seeds of a new cultural clash in Europe,” Davutoğlu added.