Holocaust remembrance cannot let us forget Israel’s Gaza massacres: Turkish parliament speaker
DAILY NEWS PhotoCommemorating the tragedies of the past, particularly the Holocaust, does not mean the killings of more than 2,000 children and women by Israeli security forces should be ignored, Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek has said, calling on "all countries to fight against all sorts of extremism and discrimination."
“I hope the pain suffered during this war will never be repeated and will constitute a lesson for future generations. Humanity, unfortunately, was not able to prevent such an atrocity at that time. I believe everyone and every country will draw conscientious lessons from this and will exert efforts in order to not experience such inhumane tragedies again,” Çiçek said on Jan. 27.
He was speaking at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the capital Ankara, participated in by high-level governmental officials for the first time, including Culture Minister Ömer Çelik.
Çiçek recalled that a number of Turkish ambassadors had risked their lives to save hundreds of Jews from being sent to death camps, particularly citing the efforts of Turkish diplomat Selahattin Ülkümen.
'Palestine-Israeli conflict must be resolved'
According to Çiçek, however, the picture would not be complete without the inclusion of the Palestine-Israeli conflict. “It will be impossible to resolve all these problems or to bring peace to the Middle East unless this conflict is settled and an independent Palestine is formed,” he said.
“In these days when we commemorate the pains of the past, nobody can ignore the massacring of more than 2,000 children and women during the latest Gaza attack. Therefore, I want to say that we should seek a holistic settlement to the problem if we are to find a solution, by looking at the greater picture,” he added.
'Muslims should not be incriminated'
Meanwhile, Parliament Speaker Çiçek also touched on the aftermath of the recent Paris terror attacks, urging that hate speech and Islamophobia were a great danger and describing as "unacceptable" statements that incriminate all Muslims for the attacks.
“Members of a certain religion cannot be blamed because of the names or symbols that terrorists use,” he said, calling on "intellectuals, politicians and academics" to draw attention to this point.
“Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other sorts of racism, discrimination and xenophobia are maladies that are fed from the same swamp. It is not possible to fight against any of them without drying the swamp itself,” he added.