Erdoğan calls for international day of solidarity against Islamophobia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the United Nations and regional organisations to designate March 15 as an international day of solidarity against Islamophobia.

Erdoğan accused the West of turning a blind eye to democracy and human rights where Muslims are concerned and said that Muslim countries were facing many threats, including terrorism and civil war, as well as the rise of xenophobia.

"Those who claim defending democracy and human rights play ostrich when it comes to Muslims, and migrants are abused in their own lands,” TRT quoted Erdoğan as saying on Wednesday during the 35the Ministerial Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC).

"We need to first believe in ourselves. As the OIC, we need to recognise our power, comprehend ourselves and determine our attitude accordingly,’’ he said. "The Islamic world has no prerogative to make and implement decisions to determine its future". 

The Turkish president also called on Muslims to take a determined stance against what he called Israel's injustice.

“Turkey is resolute to continue defending the rights of our Palestinians brothers and sisters in all platforms,” he said.

Erdoğan has been an outspoken critic of Israel and a vocal supporter of Palestinian rights, which has put the Turkish president at loggerheads with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.