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memri
February 9, 2015 No.
5962

Anti-West Statements By Turkish President Erdogan And PM Davutoglu: Muslim Countries Must 'Unite And Defeat The Successors Of Lawrence Of Arabia'; 'No One Will Be Able To Stop' The Rise Of Islam In Europe

On January 21, 2015, in a speech at a meeting of the Parliamentary Union of OIC Member States (PUIC) in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked the West, accusing it of plotting against the Islamic world and of causing Muslims to kill one another. Muslim blood is being shed, he said, urging Muslim countries to "unite and defeat the successors of Lawrence of Arabia who seek to disrupt the Middle East." He also warned the West of the "great danger" of Islamophobia.[1]

During a subsequent official visit to Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia, on which he was accompanied by a very large delegation of officials and businessmen, he repeatedly attacked the West, particularly the EU. Turkey was testing the EU, he said; "Are they against Islamophobia or not? If they are, they must accept Turkey. Otherwise, the EU will prove the claims that it is a Christian club." He added that Turkey was not one to go to Europe's door and beg to be allowed to enter.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, as Turkey's first prime ministerial-level participant since January 2009, when then-PM Erdogan stormed off the stage after shouting at Israeli President Shimon Peres that he "knows well how to kill children," claimed that Islam is and will always be the indigenous religion of Europe, from Al-Andalus to the Ottoman states. He added that Europe feared the might of the new Turkey, and that Turkey is the "cure" for Europe's ills.[2]

Following are excerpts from these speeches, and from media reports showing the increasing hostility of the Turkish AKP government's policy towards the West:

Erdogan To OIC Members: "There Are Serious Plots Against The Islamic World"; "Turkey Can... Teach You [EU] A Lesson In Democracy"

Also in his January 21 speech at the PUIC in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that serious plots and games against Islamic countries were being carried out by the West, and that they were having Muslims kill other Muslims.[3] "We must pay attention," he said, "the blood being shed is Muslims' blood. Those who kill and those who die are all Muslims. The unknown terrorists - and we do not know whom they serve and whose pawns they are - do not represent us in the Islamic world."

As he had many times before, Erdogan complained that the UN Security Council had five permanent members, but no Muslim country among them. No one would allow the 56 Muslim countries to be represented, he said, and added that these countries must make this happen.

Urging the Muslim countries to warn the West of the dangerous consequences of their Islamophobia, he added that no freedom of speech can grant the right to disrespect the sacred values of others.


At the PUIC, Istanbul. Yeni Akit, January 21, 2015.

Erdogan In Djibouti: If Europe Is Against Islamophobia, It Must Accept Turkey - Otherwise, It Will "Prove The Claims That The EU Is A Christian Club"

Erdogan's second stop on his Africa visit, after Ethiopia, was Djibouti. At a joint press conference with his Djiboutian counterpart Ismail Omar Guelleh, Erdogan said:[4] "We are continuing the EU accession process. It is not important to us whether they accept us or not. In fact, we are testing Europe. Are they able to digest the membership of a state with a Muslim population? Are they against Islamophobia or not? If they are, they must accept Turkey. Otherwise, the EU will prove the claims that it is a Christian club.

"Turkey is a powerful country. If you [i.e. the EU] still see Turkey as a country that would beg at your door [to be allowed in] - Turkey is not a country to beg. If we are accepted, we will join, and if not we will draw our own path.

"Turkey is a member of NATO, the OECD, and many other organizations. Why would the EU not accept us? This means they have another problem [i.e. Islamophobia]."

He also said again that serious games were being played against the Islamic world by the West, and told reporters that Turkey would build a mosque and a modern hospital in Djibouti, provide it with ambulances, and increase the number of Djibouti students studying in Turkey.

Erdogan's remarks about Turkey's EU membership came a week after he had criticized the EU, telling it to "keep your insights to yourselves" following its criticism of the media crackdown in Turkey.[5]

Also in January, the EU issued a statement along with its draft progress report for Turkey's accession, which noted: "The rule of law and the respect for fundamental freedoms form the core of the EU negotiation process. In this respect, Turkey currently does not meet the expectations that we have for an EU candidate country. The concerns of the EP [European Parliament] focus on freedom of speech and the independence of the judiciary - both essential components of an open democracy." Immediately responding to this, Erdogan said on January 17: "Take the trouble to come to Turkey, so that Turkey can instead teach you a lesson in democracy." He also said: "Those who try to advise us must understand that Turkey is no longer the old Turkey. We do not care whether you accept us or not."

Turkish Deputy PM In Africa: Africans Are Now "Seeing A White Hand That Does Not Exploit, Enslave, Or Punch Them"

On January 25, 2015, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, who accompanied Erdogan on his Africa trip, said: "For the first time since the Ottomans left, Africans are seeing a white hand that does not exploit, enslave, or punch them in their heads - a white hand that does not exploit their mines, eliminate their values, assimilate them, or see them as subhuman. They are [now] seeing the white hand of Turkey, who sees them as equals and as brothers. It is a kind of awakening for Africa. It may take a long time, but we are building heart-to-heart ties. We are trying to help the rebirth of these black-skinned but warm hearted people."[6]

Erdogan Conducts Prayers At Somalia Mosque, Opens New Mogadishu Airport And Hospital

Erdogan called his last stop in Africa, in Somalia, a visit "solely to help brothers and to bring services, hospitals, mosques and roads to Somalia, not to exploit their resources." Together with Somali President Hassan Sheik Mahmoud Adel Abdulle, he inaugurated a new airport terminal, a hospital, and a mosque with education facilities, that Turkey had built and that was named after Erdogan's mother. He himself led prayers as muezzin at the new mosque.

He told reporters that THY (Turkish Airlines) would soon begin weekly flights to Mogadishu, and that within the next year or two, Turkey would build 10,000 homes in the city.[7]


At airport terminal inauguration ceremony, Mogadishu, Somalia. Yeni Akit, January 25, 2015

Turkish PM Davutoglu In Switzerland: "I Kiss The Foreheads Of My Brothers Who Carried The Tekbir To Zurich"; "Islam Is Europe's Indigenous Religion"; "Turkey Is The Cure For Europe"; "No One Will Be Able To Stop" The Rise Of Islam In Europe

While in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Zurich to speak to a large gathering of Turks living in Europe:[8] "I am saying this here from Zurich. Islam is Europe's indigenous religion, and will continue to be so. Despite the roadblocks, prejudices and many provocations, Turkey will continue to walk on the road to EU membership. We will walk this road mainly for you [Turks in Europe]. Since you represent our culture, our traditions, our language and our religion here, and since we have brothers, [i.e.] the 45 million Muslims here [in Europe], Turkey will be part of Europe. We will never beg or make special requests; we will enter with honor, with our heads high. We will enter the EU with our language, our traditions, and our religion [Islam]. You live proudly with our culture in Europe. Would we ever sacrifice one iota of that culture? With Allah's grace, we will never bow our heads. We are the grandchildren of the heroes who fought at Gallipoli, who never bowed their heads.

"In 2002, when we [AKP] came to power, they [the EU] said that Turkey was too poor, too weak a country, that would become a burden on Europe. Thank Allah, today Turkey is the rising power of the world, the presiding member of the G20. We want nothing from them. We reached this point with our sweat, and thanks to the taxes paid by our people, thanks to our moral and hardworking people. May Allah never make us need anything from anyone.

"And now the same [European] circles are saying that we are too strong to be accepted. So strong that we would change the character of Europe, and occupy one fourth of the European Parliament. I say from here now: 'We are not a burden on Europe. Turkey is the cure for Europe!' Turkey is the cure for their disease of racism. We are the cure to their economic slowdown, we are the cure to their loss of power.

"I again call this out from Zurich: Islam is Europe's indigenous religion, and it will continue to be its indigenous religion. From Andalusia to the Ottomans, and, half a century ago with the holy march of our people who came here from every corner of Anatolia. The sound of the azan [Islamic call to prayer], brought by these heroes to Europe, the domes of the mosques with which they dotted this continent, will all be protected. We will continue to fight against all the hands that reach out to harm them [the mosques]. I kiss the foreheads of my brothers who carried the tekbir [i.e. the call "Allahu Akbar"] to Zurich. May Allah bless those who raised you. Blessed be those who came here with just a suitcase, in poverty, but with rich hearts filled with their faith [Islam]. How holy those people were, who came and sowed the seeds here, which will, with Allah's help, continue to grow into a huge tree of justice in the center of Europe. No one will be able to stop this."


Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks in Zurich, Takvim, January 23, 2015.

Erdogan Criticizes Washington: "The U.S. Must Change Its Syria Policy, Not Turkey"

Speaking to journalists on board his plane on his return from his Africa trip, President Erdogan vowed that Turkey would never change its policy on Syria, and proposed that the U.S. revise its own policies.[9]

On the Turkey-U.S. disagreements, he said: "Our position is well known. Our target is the Syrian regime. I made it clear to both U.S. President Obama and to Vice President Biden that three things must be resolved: the establishment of security zones inside Syria, the declaration of a no-fly zone, and the launch of a train-and-equip operation [for Syrian rebels]."

Criticizing the U.S. for no longer targeting the Assad regime, he said that the negative developments in Syria, particularly in the Aleppo region, would bring about what happened in Iraq - "the birth of a '[Kurdish] northern Iraq.' We don't want a [Kurdish-ruled] 'northern Syria.' We will not accept this."

He complained about the U.S. focus on the Iraqi town of Kobane, and noted the U.S. attempts to supply weapons to the Kurdish fighters there: "We told them not to drop these arms, that it would be a mistake. Despite our warnings, unfortunately, three cargo planes airdropped these weapons, and half of them went to ISIS. So who is feeding ISIS?"

Turkey Only Country To Not Sign EU Parliament Speakers' Declaration Against Antisemitism

Also on January 27, 2015, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, following a roundtable discussion in Prague with 30 European countries' parliamentary speakers, the Turkish delegation was the only one to refuse to sign the summary joint declaration calling for "zero tolerance for antisemitism."[10]

The declaration stated, inter alia: "Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life include the distortion or denial of the Holocaust with the intention of hurting Jews around the world and the State of Israel. It is imperative that parliaments, governments, international organizations and civil societies around the world adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards these phenomena."

 
Endnotes:

[1] Yeni Akit, Hurriyet Daily News, January 21, 2015.

[2] Cumhuriyet, Radikal, January 23, 2015.

[3] Yeni Akit, January 21, 2015.

[4] Today's Zaman, Kanal Haber, January 24, 2015.

[5] Today's Zaman, January 24, 2015.

[6] Yeni Akit, January 25, 2015.

[7] Yeni Akit, January 25, 2015.

[8] Radikal, AA (Anatolia News Agency), January 23, 2015.

[9] Hurriyet Daily News, Today's Zaman, January 27, 2015.

[10] Algemeiner.com, January 27, 2015; Times of Israel, January 27, 2015.