Erdoğan blames West for failing to confront Islamophobia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday accused the West of remaining hesitant to confront Islamophobia within their borders, NTV news reported. 

“Attacks on Muslims’ sacred values are being persistently disregarded under the pretext of freedom of thought. Projects like European Islam, French Islam, and Austrian Islam are being used simultaneously to pressure Muslims,” Erdoğan told a delegation of the Union of International Democrats. 

The Turkish president suggested that these acts were "cutting off European Muslims’ ties with their homelands and the Islamic ummah,” and saw Turkey as their intended target. 

Last year, there was a flare-up in tensions between European states and their Muslim minorities. 

Following a pair of terrorist attacks in France, President Emmanuel Macron has been vocal about his plans to reform French Islam. Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz pledged similarly after a terrorist attack in Vienna by followers of the Islamic State (ISIS). 

Erdoğan made clear he viewed these policies as aimed at Turkey. 

He said they were "not coincidental" and that they wanted to “sabotage Turkey through asymmetrical methods and baseless allegations and accusations” after failing to confront Ankara in places like the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.