On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that Turkey would not tolerate the use of freedom of thought as a pretext for attacks on the sacred values held by two billion Muslims worldwide.
“To us, these actions are provocations that aim to incite people,” President Erdogan said at a dinner event organized by the Turkish American National Steering Committee in New York.
He recalled that Türkiye pioneered the adoption of resolutions by the United Nations Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly which view violent actions targeting holy books as violating international law.
“We will continue our efforts in this regard,” he added.
President Erdogan was referring to recent vicious attacks on the Quran, saying if hostility towards Islam is not prevented, perpetrators will become more reckless.
“As Türkiye, we are responding to this snowballing threat,” he added.
President Erdogan cautioned that the attacks, which he said were primarily targeting Muslims today, may very well be directed at groups of diverse origins, languages, cultures and beliefs tomorrow.
Addressing members of the Turkish American community at the event, the Turkish leader also said there are interest groups that seek to poison Turkish-American relations.
“We will avert them by speaking the truth and representing Türkiye,” he said.
– ‘Windows of opportunity’
Turning to Türkiye-US relations, the president noted that in the coming period, Türkiye will further advance its cooperation on the basis of shared interests.
“Differences of opinion are normal in interstate relations. But we know that there are more common grounds (with the US) and many windows of opportunity,” he said.
President Erdogan also said he agreed with his US counterpart Joe Biden to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between their two nations.
“The strategic mechanism that we decided to establish with Mr. Biden contributes to deepening the dialogue between our countries,” he added.
The trade volume between Türkiye and the US reached a record high last year, exceeding $32 billion.
Türkiye is also a key NATO ally and critical regional partner for the US.
– ‘Century of Türkiye’ vision
In his remarks, President Erdogan said the government is diligently working to crown the 100th anniversary of the Republic with the “Century of Türkiye” vision and emphasized that Türkiye is making significant strides in defense, diplomacy, economy and tourism.
The president emphasized that the government does not provide any respite to terrorist organizations, from Daesh/ISIS to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and the PKK. He further underscored that the unwavering commitment to combatting these terrorist groups, both domestically and internationally, will persist.
Expressing his commitment to addressing global injustices and inequalities while defending the rights and laws of the nation, President Erdogan said, “To achieve this goal, we pursue a robust, constructive, proactive and balanced foreign policy, both in action and at the negotiation table.”
“In recent years, we have solidified our status as a world brand in mediation, with the pivotal roles we have assumed in addressing regional and global crises,” he added, referring to Türkiye’s role in the Ukraine grain deal and prisoner swaps between Ukraine and Russia.