ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AA Photo
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
told Denmark’s Politiken newspaper that he still stood behind the speech he gave several weeks ago in which he called Zionism a crime against humanity while clarifying that his criticism targeted Israeli policies.
“I know that what I said in Vienna caused debates,” Erdoğan told the daily. “But no one should misunderstand me. Everyone knows that my criticism is of Israeli policies. And our criticisms will continue as long as Israel
does not accept the existence of the Palestinian state.”
Erdoğan said he was expressing his clear stance on the issue.
“I put forth my stance clearly on the issue,” he said. “That is why I stand behind the speech I gave in Vienna.”
Erdoğan called Zionism a “crime against humanity” in a United Nations conference in Vienna, saying, “Just as with Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it has become necessary to view Islamophobia as a crime against humanity.
The speech prompted reactions from several international actors, including U.S. Congress members and senators who penned a letter calling on him to retract his remarks.Turkish PM's remarks on Zionism sparks controversy
“Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,” Erdoğan said last month speaking at a United Nations conference in Vienna.
After Erdoğan's remarks, US
Secretary of State John Kerry has said he found "objectionable" the Turkish prime minister's branding of Zionism as a crime against humanity.
The U.S. Congress members and senators penned a letter directed at Erdoğan, calling on him to retract his remarks.