Turkey's FM rebuffs US congress letter in Zionism row

The foreign minister's remarks came as a response to a question about a letter 95 members of the Congress sent to Erdoğan, urging him to retract his remarks labeling Zionism as a crime against humanity.

Turkey's FM rebuffs US congress letter in Zionism row

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish foreign minister has said his country does not owe explanation to anyone over its record as he assessed a letter US Congress members sent that urged Turkish prime minister to retract his remarks on Zionism.

Ahmet Davutoğlu told a joint news conference on Thursday with his Romanian counterpart, Titus Corlatean, that Turkey has always been against anti-Semitism but that Ankara is also against Israel's expansive policies and aggressive policies as a result of these policies.

The foreign minister's remarks came as a response to a question about a letter 95 members of the Congress sent to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, urging him to retract his remarks labeling Zionism as a crime against humanity.

Ankara didn't officially reject Erdoğan's Zionism remarks but state-run Anatolia news agency, which published his remarks, omitted “Zionism” an hour later in a corrected version.

Davutoğlu defended Erdoğan as a leader who made it very clear in his speeches that he is categorically against anti-Semitism.

“In these matters, our position is very clear. We are against anti-Semitism. But we have always been very loud and we will continue to do so when we spoke against Israel's expansive policies in the region and its aggressive position as a result of these expansive policies. No one should doubt that. Turkey has a record in this sense that does not owe an explanation to anyone,” Davutoğlu stated.

Davutoğlu said while there were Jewish ghettos in the entire Europe in 600 years and during the heydays of Holocaust, Jews were offered shelters in Turkey. He added that Turkey's doors are open to anyone suffering under human rights abuses.

Turkish foreign minister stressed that no one should justify Israel's exceptionally aggressive position “through these ways,” referring to attacks and condemnation following Erdoğan's remarks criticizing Zionism.

Davutoğlu said Turkey's position is open and clear, noting that Turkey is against to any type of racism and anti-Semitism.

"While holocausts were taking place in Europe, Turkey had been the home to all Jewish communities. And similarly our doors will be open to all those who suffer in terms of human rights. Noone should attempt to damage Turkey's clean reputation by taking advantage of such matters. And again noone should make use of such issues to excuse the attitude of Israel," he added.

Last Mod: 14 Mart 2013, 17:16
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