Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "Alliance of Civilizations" initiative was an answer to those who asserted that clash among civilizations was inevitable.
Delivering the opening speech at the 2nd Alliance of the Civilizations Forum hosted by Turkey in Istanbul, Erdogan said as Turkey and Spain, they initiated the process with the belief that dialogue was possible.
"We sincerely believed that the Christian, Muslim and Jewish peoples, the East and the West, could understand and tolerate each other. We believed that prejudices in a globalizing world could only be dangerous," said Erdogan.
He said different societies could not be allowed to have misconceptions and misunderstandings about each other in a global world with the spread of communications.
"We know well how hard it is to break prejudices. We know it will take time to destroy the feelings of animosity stemming from the depths of history. We set out with sincere intentions and we believe our little steps will open the door for greater initiatives," said Erdogan.
Erdogan said intolerance caused conflicts and conflicts brought separation in turn, noting that it was necessary to enhance tolerance, strengthen dialogue, understanding and solidarity.
"The people feel animosity towards ones they don't know. A smiling face, a warm touch, a sincere hand shake, will build strong bridges between hearts. We have to find ways to win the hearts," said Erdogan.
Erdogan said "terror" was an international problem.
"Those who see terror as other nations' problem may suffer from terror themselves. Therefore, it is necessary to build a strong culture of solidarity starting from today," said Erdogan.
He said the "Alliance of Civilizations" initiative which started under the auspices of UN in 2005 became an important platform creating concrete solutions and projects, adding that the second forum in Istanbul was a milestone for the initiative.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Nisan 2009, 13:48