Muslim countries are able to solve their problems on their own, the Turkish president believes. He says far from offering help, the West is actually exploiting “conflicts in the Middle East” and only cares about the region’s riches.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged Islamic countries to unite in order to solve “the biggest humanitarian and political crisis in their history,” according to AFP, citing the Turkish president’s speech in Istanbul on Thursday.
“The only condition to overcome the crisis in the Islamic world is unity, solidarity and alliance,” he said. “Believe me, we can resolve every problem as long as we are united.”
Erdogan says there is no use counting on help from the Western world.
“I speak openly, foreigners love oil, gold, diamonds, and the cheap labor force of the Islamic world,” he said. “They like the conflicts, fights and quarrels of the Middle East. Believe me, they don’t like us.”
“They look like friends, but they want us dead, they like seeing our children die,” the president went on.
Turkey has recently had its relations with the US strained over the Washington-led military operation against the Islamic State extremist group.
The US has been pushing for Turkey’s more active participation in the conflict, which Ankara has largely resisted, in its turn demanding support from Washington in bringing down Syria’s president Assad.
Erdogan has called the US attempt to get Turkey more involved in the conflict “impertinent.”
“Why is somebody coming to this region from 12,000 kilometers (7,000 miles) away?” Erdogan said on Wednesday, according to AFP. “I want you to know that we are against impertinence, recklessness and endless demands,” he added.
The comment was made shortly after US Vice President Joe Biden visited Turkey. Biden’s negotiations with Erdogan failed to resolve the differences between the two NATO allies.