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In address to UN Assembly, Turkish President Urges Support for victims of Terrorism

Published: October 3, 2014 | 1:49 pm
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With more than 1.5 million refugees seeking refuge in Turkey, President Tayyip Erdogan called for international support to aid victims of terrorism, while also making a case for reform of the United Nations Security Council.

Addressing the 69th high-level debate of the General Assembly for the first time as the Turkish President, Mr. Erdogan lashed out at the inability to the Security Council to stop the violence in Syria.

“The world is more than five,” he said in reference to the five permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States.

This situation is “unacceptable,” Mr. Erdogan said, given that the veto power of one country could impact the decision of the entire UN body.

Those who stood by and remained unresponsive to the killing of children and women were openly participating in those crimes against humanity, he continued.

He went on to say that unfortunately, areas around Syria and Iraq had become a “free region” for terrorist organizations, which had a direct effect on countries in the region, particularly on Turkey. Hopefully a new Government in Iraq would mean a fresh start, and Turkey would stand by it for stability and peace. The Syrian crisis was now spilling over the borders of Iraq as well.

Turkey is hosting some 1.5 million Syrian refugees who have crossed the border to escape the conflict which is now in its fourth year.

“So far, Turkey has spent more than $4.5 billion,” Mr. Erdogan said, in sharp contrast to European countries who were hosting 130,000 refugees.

The President rejected terrorist acts supposedly carried out in the name of religion and “strongly condemned” coupling terrorism with Islam, which means peace.

“Those labeling their inhumane actions as ‘Islamic’, disrespected Islam, as well as all humanity,” said Mr. Erdogan.

He underscored Turkey’s objectivity in issues related to terrorism and sectarian conflict, as well as racism, and the country’s resolve to fight for “democracy and prosperity with heart and soul.”

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