Turkey draws int'l attention to Muslim world's problems, says head of SECRIC

SELVA ÜNAL
ANKARA
Published

On the 48th anniversary of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the director general of the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), Musa Kulaklıkaya praised Turkey's contributions during its presidency term.

Speaking to Daily Sabah, Kulaklıkaya discussed a number of issues including the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) ambitions for independence, the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the Palestinian issue and Islamophobia.

"During its presidency term, Turkey, by calling meetings and its leading role in trying to solve the many problems of the Islamic world, was able to successfully draw the attention of the Islamic world and the international community to those issues," the SESRIC director general said.

Emphasizing that the OIC's main founding reason was the Jerusalem and the Palestinian issue, Kulaklıkaya reiterated that, "Without being in direct contact with Israel, the OIC follows the issue closely. The OIC, hosts initiatives and projects to support the Palestinians on economic, social, cultural and other fields. The OIC recently took an important step by opening a liaison office in Ramallah."

Meanwhile, regarding the KRG's ambitions on becoming an independent state, he warned saying, "There has been a new addition to the crises and problems already faced by the Islamic world. This will not only affect Iraq and other neighboring countries like Turkey and Iran."

"There will be consequences that will concern the whole Islamic world. Within the OIC, particularly through the Conference of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, many mechanisms have been introduced to prevent the crisis," he continued.

Pointing out that the tragedy of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar was not something new, Kulaklıkaya said, "Like on previous occasions, the general secretariat of the OIC has been involved in various initiatives, both by engaging with the state parties and the international community, and has closely followed the issue.""Without a doubt, it would be more effective if the efforts made by the general secretary were supported by the member states' political initiatives. In reaching a solution, it would be more effective if 1.8 billion Muslims acted as one voice," he said.

On Islamophobia in the meantime, he said, "The OIC has an Islamophobia Monitoring Unit, which tries to inform the public about the issue and prepares regular reports on the subject."

SESRIC is a subsidiary organ of the OIC and has been conducting its operations in Ankara since 1978.

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