Turkiye President – Middle East Monitor

Turkiye opposes hate speech, neo-Nazism, Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric targeting refugees which have permeated other societies after taking root in Western countries, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a message marking 20 June, World Refugee Day, Erdogan stressed that people around the world, including those in the region around Turkiye, are being forced to migrate due to factors including terrorism, conflict, civil war, starvation and famine, according to a statement by the Communications Directorate.

“The number of forcibly displaced people has reached nearly 110 million today. Among them, 35.3 million refugees remain outside their homelands, while 62.5 million have been displaced within their own countries.”

“Our stance on irregular migration and the refugee issue, which pose a global challenge, is to protect human life and dignity in conjunction with our country’s security.”

READ: Greece shipwreck: No bodies or burials as Pakistan village mourns lost sons

He highlighted that Turkiye, which has historically sheltered those fleeing persecution without discrimination, has once again demonstrated the same humanitarian stance in the face of crises from Syria to Ukraine.

“Turkiye has always fulfilled its duty of humanity, neighbourliness and supporting the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of refugees to their countries and implements necessary projects for this purpose.”

He added that Turkiye rejects hate speech, neo-Nazi ideology, anti-Muslim and xenophobic rhetoric against refugees that has spread to other societies after taking root in Western countries.

‘Mediterranean turned into migrant graveyard’

“We consider this approach that does not accept anyone besides their own race, culture and beliefs as a threat to humanitarian values and the common future of humanity.”

Citing last week’s tragic sinking of a migrant boat off south-western Greece, Erdogan said: “The Mediterranean, which has been the cradle of civilisations throughout history, has turned into a massive refugee graveyard in recent years, largely due to the influence of the arrogant approach rooted in colonialism.”

So far, 81 migrants have been confirmed drowned in the sinking, but the death toll is expected to rise, as survivors said the vessel was carrying more than 600 people, mostly from Pakistan, Egypt and Syria.

Erdogan added that the international community, especially the countries which lecture others on human rights and democracy, should take responsibility.

“The refugee issue can be resolved by eliminating the root causes of migration and forced displacement,” he said.

READ: UN agencies call for ‘urgent, decisive’ steps after Mediterranean migrant boat disaster

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