West responsible for Mediterranean graveyard: Erdoğan

Turkish President Erdoğan lashed out at EU states for turning the Mediterranean into a cemetery for migrants, accusing Europe of abandoning the criteria of human rights and freedoms it had set.

On Thursday Erdoğan harshly criticised global powers for failing to respond to the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. Thousands of refugees have drowned while trying to reach Europe, meanwhile countries hesitate to accept more refugees.

Speaking at the B20 Summit in Ankara, the Turkish President said that the United Nations Security Council (P5) has turned into an institution that fails to respond to critical issues. “The global security system does not function properly”, Erdoğan said, and added that the global security system which protects the oppressors rather than the oppressed is no longer sustainable. He slammed the P5 for failing to address any issues that do not directly concern them.

Erdoğan highlighted that it is about time for global powers to recognise that the world no longer has a single power centre and is now multi-centred. He said that the western countries which determined the criteria for freedom following World War II have now ‘unfortunately’ turned their backs on these values.

“Will humanity not be held accountable for the three-year old Syrian boy?” Erdoğan said, referring to the tragic death of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed up on a Turkish shore on Wednesday, in a failed attempt to sail to the Greek island of Kos.

“What has drowned in the Mediterranean is not only the refugees, humanity has drowned in the Mediterranean Sea”, President Erdoğan said, and added that the countries which have contributed to transforming the Mediterranean into a ‘graveyard’ are responsible for all refugees who have lost their lives. He underlined that Turkey has kept and will continue to keep its doors open to the refugees who are fleeing persecution in their homeland.

The Turkish President called on the developed countries to be more sensitive towards the ongoing crisis, while he called on media outlets throughout the world to also be more sensitive and objective when covering these issues.

Referring to the subject of terrorism as a global concern, Erdoğan said,

“I would like to note that the Western countries do not pay the necessary attention regarding the issue of terrorism” he said, and added that the G20 should not only address economic issues but must also contribute to global peace and stability.

Daily Sabah

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