Turkish president accuses West of 'lacking conscience’ over Syria

Turkish president accuses West of 'lacking conscience’ over Syria

Turkish president accuses West of lacking conscience’ over Syria

DHA photo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused countries in the West of "lacking conscience" over conflicts in the Middle East, particularly in Syria.

“The right to life, democracy and freedoms which the Western countries consider as the most fundamental right for their citizens were considered a luxury for Syrian people,” Erdoğan said on Oct. 20, speaking at an international gathering in Ankara.

“Likewise, the entire world virtually played ‘the three monkeys’ when the rights of those who appealed for their rights in Egypt and those who defended their honor in Palestine were being trampled on. Where is democracy, where are rights and freedoms?” Erdoğan asked, while addressing an ongoing session of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) conference being hosted in the capital.

In a world where “consciences turn into deserts,” it is not possible to prevent desertification of the soil, he said, using a metaphor in line with the occasion of the gathering.

“Primarily, we should enrich consciences with respect, peace and mercy so that we could also save the lands. This is how we approach issues of environment and desertification,” Erdoğan said, taking pride in his performance in favor of environmental policies during his prime ministry from early 2003 to August 2014. He particularly recalled how Turkey became a party to the Kyoto Protocol and opened a negotiation chapter on the environment between Turkey and the European Union in 2009. 

“Does democracy exist only for hegemonic powers? Isn’t democracy in force also for countries with developing or less developed democracy, rights and freedoms for their peoples?” Erdoğan asked, vowing to voice such realities despite annoying “certain people.”