Dialogue, crucial for peace and brotherhood
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc delivered a speech at "Muslims, Jews and Christians: Peace is possible!" conference at German Federal Parliamentary conference hall in Berlin on Tuesday.
Arinc gave the example of "Alliance of Civilizations" initiative which began in 2005 with the attempts of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Spain’s then prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and turned into a UN initiative, and said, "This initiative was launched with the aim of avoiding suspicion, fear and polarization and has become the most significant initiative in terms of dialogue between cultures and religions."
Underlining the need of 7 billion people in the world for peace and brotherhood, Arinc said, "To establish peace and brotherhood, we must implement dialogue, the crucial need for societies. Dialogue is not the dominance of a religion or a culture to another. It is rather resonance and adoption."
"It is beyond the pale that a Jew is exposed to a genocide or hostility just because he is Jewish. No religion or belief approves it. As Jews are marginalized by anti-semitism, in the same way Muslims are advertised by Islamaphobia," said Deputy Prime Minister Arinc.
Arinc said that Turkey had no problems with any religious groups and added, "We have no problems with Christians, Buddhists, Hindus much less with Jews, towards whom we have no intention other than brotherhood but today, the problems between states are represented as the problems between the societies. We have to reject that beforehand, Turkey’s having a problem on a specific issue with another state is totally relevant with the interlocutor government. It is not our political style to attribute such a problem to a single community."
The deputy prime minister stated that Turkey had decided to return the properties of 165 minority communities seized in the past because of various reasons and said, "About returning of the properties which is under my responsibility, I personally say that we practice it not for a response or an expectation but for we see these people as a part of our community. We would like to do what is just and right."
Turkey’s criticisms directed at Israeli government not Jewish faith
Turkey’s deputy prime minister said Tuesday criticisms made by Turkish officials about Israel were directed at the Jewish state’s government, not at the Jewish faith or Jews who practice their religion.
"Just as the Israeli government criticized the Turkish government freely in the past, we might have criticized the Israeli government and its officials. And I believe we did it in a very strong manner. But we would not have any thoughts that would confront your faith or challenge the reasons for your existence. We would not utter a word that would hurt you," Bulent Arinc told a conference in Berlin.
Arinc’s remarks were in response to statements made by former German politician and TV host Michael Friedmann during the conference on "Muslims, Jews and Christians: Peace is possible!"
Turkey’s ties with Israel fell to a historic low after Israeli commandos raided in May 2010 a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killing nine Turkish citizens.
Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador in Ankara, saying that relations would not go back to normal unless Israeli government made an official apology, paid redress to the relatives of the victims and removed blockade on Gaza.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013