Turkish PM: Do I look like an ISIL supporter?

Turkish PM: Do I look like an ISIL supporter?

Turkish PM: Do I look like an ISIL supporter

AFP photo

Stating that his understanding of Islam and the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are at opposite ends of the spectrum, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said the stark contrast can simply be “seen from my face.”

“Look at me, look at my face. Do I have the face of someone who would support ISIL?” Davutoğlu asked on Oct. 26, when reminded of claims by some opposition figures that his government had provided protection to ISIL. 

“The Islam that we represent is exactly the opposite of ISIL. It is also the kind of Islam that will destroy ISIL,” he said during a live TV broadcast with young people at an Istanbul café, stating that the government had launched operations against ISIL even before the recent crackdown on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

There is a need for an “ideological” struggle against ISIL in addition to security measures, the prime minister added. 

“Just like we need to not harm the identities of our Kurdish citizens and win them over while fighting against the PKK, there is also a need to be careful about not accusing or offending the religion of Islam religion while fighting against ISIL,” Davutoğlu said.

He also claimed that his Justice and Development Party (AKP) had “never regarded young people as terrorists or potential criminals” simply because of their participation in the anti-government Gezi Park protests of summer 2013.