Turkey is sensitive towards its minorities says PM

‘We have enacted historical reforms for everyone within the borders of the Republic of Turkey to freely express their faith, culture and identity’ says Turkey’s President-elect

‘We have enacted historical reforms for everyone within the borders of the Republic of Turkey to freely express their faith, culture and identity’ says Turkey’s President-elect

ANKARA – There is no other country in the world as sensitive towards its minorities as Turkey, said outgoing Prime Minister and President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday at a gathering of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.

“We have enacted historical reforms for everyone within the borders of the Republic of Turkey to freely express their faith, culture and identity especially to protect their lifestyle and to freely express their thoughts”, he said. “All minorities in Turkey are in peace. So many incidents are taking place in Gaza. We said, the Jews of Turkey are our citizens, nobody can show any negative behavior toward them, they are under our guarantee. Our problem is with Israeli government, not with the Israeli people. We will act with commonsense, not with emotions.”

“Today is 14 August, the Rabaa Day. Rabaa is the day when the anti-coup people gave a heroic struggle in Egypt. Turkey is the only country to oppose murder of democracy, murders of innocent people and human tragedy in Egypt”, Erdogan said. “However, you look at some national and international media, once again they are unfairly, unjustifiably, baselessly and unsupportedly targeting Turkey. They do not understand one thing that we do not bow before these games.”

Responding to criticism that there is no freedom for media in Turkey Erdogan said, “Some of the media groups dare insult me in this country but judiciary exonerates them saying that we have to endure it because we are politicians.”

Hailing his victory in the August 10 presidential election Erdogan said, “Not only Recep Tayyip Erdogan but also the 77 million people of Turkey were the winners of Aug. 10 presidential election.”

“AK Party has never shared national sovereignty with any other power”, said Erdogan. “AK Party has been the hope of the nation and Muslim Ummah for the last 13 years.”

Taking on the opposition parties Erdogan said, “A new opposition with a new vision is inevitable for Turkey.”

Hundreds of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were killed and thousands injured on August 14 of last year in Egypt when security forces moved in to disperse their sit-in.

The sit-in was staged by those opposed to the elected leader's removal from office at the hands of Egypt's military establishment.

On Tuesday, the New York-based Human Rights Watch accused Egyptian security forces of "systematic" killing of 1150 demonstrators last summer, including at least 817 in Rabaa alone.

According to provisional results Erdogan got 51.79 percent of the vote and was elected to a five-year term as president. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the joint candidate of the Republican People's Party and and the Nationalist Movement Party, received 38.44 percent of the votes, and Selahattin Demirtas, candidate of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, won 9.76 percent.

Erdogan will take oath of his office as the 12th President of the Republic of Turkey on August 28.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency