Erdoğan signals no attendance to US summit if Netanyahu attends
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJan 13, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jan 13, 2015 12:00 am
At a joint press conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday that the government has yet to decide if representatives will attend the counterterrorism summit on February 18 called for by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Erdoğan added that if an invitation was extended to Turkish officials, they would evaluate the summit's necessity, implying that he may not attend if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be present.
Erdoğan also slammed Netanyahu's attendance at Sunday's Unity Rally in Paris to commemorate Charlie Hebdo and its subsequent attacks' victims.
Responding to a journalist's question about Netanyahu's attendance, which has been widely debated by various media outlets as an unwilling request by the French, Erdoğan replied, "With what nerve did he [Netanyahu] go there [to Paris]? I'm having trouble understanding this. You should first account for the murdered women and children [in Palestine]."
Erdoğan also made striking comments regarding last week's attacks in Paris that claimed 20 lives. Highlighting that the assailants were French citizens, Erdoğan said that Muslims had to pay the price for the massacre. "These French citizens were in jail for 16 months. How did the French intelligence service not monitor them?" Erdoğan asked.
"It is impossible for a Muslim to accept such a massacre no matter where it came from," Erdoğan said, noting the rising racism and Islamophobia in Europe.
"The West's hypocrisy is obvious. As Muslims, we've never taken part in terrorist massacres. Behind these lie racism, hate speech and Islamophobia," Erdoğan said. "Please, the administrations in those countries where our mosques are attacked need to take [the necessary] measures.
Mosques in France, Germany and Sweden have been vandalized before and since the attacks in what Turkey and others see as a growing tide of anti-Muslim sentiment across the continent.
Erdoğan blamed Islamophobia for the West's reluctance to take in more Syrian refugees after nearly four years of civil war, while Turkey hosts more than 1.6 million Syrians.
The Turkish president said the U.N. Security Council has not done its part in dealing with Israel's stubbornness, which he said has been causing increasing tension in the region.
Erdoğan also repeated his famous statement that "the world is bigger than five," in reference to the Security Council's five permanent members who can veto any substantive resolution.
Meanwhile, Abbas also said that Palestinians are determined to establish an independent state with pre-1967 boundaries with its capital being Jerusalem. He thanked Turkey for "its special emphasis on the Palestinian issue and for its diplomatic efforts in the international community."