Turkey urges Islamic cooperation to help needy Muslims

Turkey urges Islamic cooperation to help needy Muslims

ISTANBUL-Anadolu Agency
Turkey urges Islamic cooperation to help needy Muslims

Turkey's president on Dec. 8 urged Muslim countries to work harder together to help millions of Muslims facing economic hardship.

“21 percent of the population of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) [countries], which means 350 million brothers and sisters, are trying to hold onto life at the poverty level,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the OIC High-Level Public and Private Investment Conference in Istanbul, the Turkish metropolis.

Erdogan stressed that the wealthiest Muslim country is 200 times richer than the poorest, but that if Muslims paid their zakat -- a religious obligation to provide financial assistance to the poor -- no Muslim country would suffer poverty.

Touching on the strength of Turkey's economy, he said it leads the way in countries most ready to brace themselves from the impact of global trade wars and financial fluctuations.

He noted that last year Turkey was the sixth-most visited country in the world with 46 million tourists, and in 2019 aims to boost this number to 50 million.

Urging OIC member states to help Albania recover from last month's powerful earthquake, he said: “I ask you to support out brother Albania by mobilizing all your means to treat their wounds.”

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Albania's Adriatic coast on Nov. 26, killing 51 people and injuring more than 900.