Thursday, February 22, 2024

'Fascist practices against Russians cast shadow over Ukraine’s struggle'

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Turkiye’s president on Wednesday strongly rejected any moves resembling "a witch-hunt” against the Russian people, arts, scholars, or artists.

"Just as we would not abandon Ukraine, we also do not accept actions akin to a witch-hunt against the Russian people, literature, students or artists," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group.

Citing Germany's Munich Philharmonic firing a Russian conductor over his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Erdogan said such "fascist practices" cast a shadow over Ukraine's "legitimate struggle" in resisting Russian troops by fueling a "climate of hatred and grudges and sowing new grievances."

The Turkish president also criticized international organizations for "falling short in taking action over war zones, especially the UN Security Council."

Erdogan has long faulted the impotence of the UN in the face of global problems and has pushed for a more internationally inclusive Security Council.

Also read: Erdogan urges Putin to declare Ukraine ceasefire, make peace

On refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, amid reports some African and Asian refugees have been held back, Erdogan stated that a mindset that discriminates against the oppressed based on their religion, national origin, or skin color has nothing to do with humanity or civilization.

Ankara never labeled those fleeing war and persecution according to their language, religion, or skin color, he said.

Turkiye hosts over 4 million refugees, most of them coming from war-torn Syria, more than any country in the world.

With the Russian, Ukrainian, and Turkish foreign ministers set to hold a meeting this week in Turkiye's southern resort city of Antalya, Erdogan also stressed Turkiye’s strenuous diplomatic efforts to end the war.

He said he hoped the meeting, set to be held on the eve of the three-day Antalya Diplomacy Forum, would “open the door” for a permanent cease-fire in Ukraine.

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