Erdogan: Attacking religious beliefs equals terrorism

Turkish president says terror has no religion and is form of murder.

Erdogan: Attacking religious beliefs equals terrorism
World Bulletin / News Desk
 Attacking religious beliefs is a form of terrorism, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.

“Terrorism is not just committed by weapons,” Erdogan said during a speech at Addis Ababa University in the Ethiopian capital. “Attacks on holy values and religious beliefs are acts of terror and so is racism and discrimination.”

The president called all perpetrators of these acts terrorists “no matter if they are Muslims, Christians or Jews.”

Erdogan added that terror has no religion and is a form of murder, against which all countries should take a united stance.

“There has been a surge in anti-Islam sentiments not only in Europe, but all over the world following the recent terrorist attack against a magazine in Paris,” Erdogan said, referring to the Jan. 7 attack on the French Charlie Hebdo magazine.

“Turkey strongly condemned this attack and will continue to do so,” he said. “As a country that fought terrorism for 40 years, we are totally against this violence no matter who it is committed by, where or under what pretense.”

Erdogan called acts of terrorism committed by ISIL in Syria, as well as Israel's state terrorism against the Palestinians, “murder.”

He also said it was essential to adopt a united approach and fight jointly against all terrorist groups.

“It is also our duty to condemn and take a stance against Syria’s terrorist leadership, which has killed 350,000 people already and continues to kill more,” the Turkish president added.

Erdogan was also quick to denounce the so-called “Islamic terrorism.”

“We object to this term,” he said. “Nobody can utter the words Islam and terror together, as Islam, both in name and in essence, means peace.”

A car bomb exploded on Thursday outside the presidential palace in Mogadishu near a hotel accommodating a Turkish delegation, leaving four dead – including the bomber – but causing no casualties among the Turks.

“There was an act of terror in Somalia today," Erdogan said. "If they say it was committed in the name of Islam, there is no such thing in Islam. A true Muslim would not commit suicide. Who are the people killed? They are Muslims too."

"There is no such Islam," he added. "Islam does not tell people to go and kill people.”

The hotel had been accommodating a Turkish delegation that was preparing for Erdogan's scheduled visit to Somalia on Friday.

Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday that Erdogan’s visit was not canceled and he still planned to visit Somalia despite the attack, which the Al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility for.

 “Unfortunately, such acts of terror, as well as attacks on different religious beliefs, destroy the culture of living together,” Erdogan said. “That is why it is important to take a global and united stance against all these incidents, including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, discrimination and attacks on holy values.”


Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Ocak 2015, 07:47