President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey said that making terrorism synonymous with Muslims is the greatest hindrance to contend with in the world’s fight against terrorism.
“Do we say Christian terror? Do we say Jewish terror? Are there no Christians and Jews who are involved in terrorism? There are,” Erdoğan said at an international drug policies symposium at Istanbul.
“Nobody can join Islam and terrorism. The word ‘Islam’ itself means peace. Is it possible to associate a religion that demands peace with terrorism? The aim is to taint Islam with Daesh and other terror groups,” he added.
“I invite the whole world to unite around a stance against terrorism that is principled and result-oriented.”
Last year, Erdoğan reprimanded German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to Ankara, for using the expression “Islamist terrorism” because it deeply saddens Muslims:
“Such an expression is not correct because Islam and terror cannot be associated. The meaning of Islam is peace. Please let’s not use it. As long as it is used we need to stand against it. As a Muslim president personally I cannot accept that.”
President Erdoğan praised Turkey’s adamant efforts in battling terrorism because it has yielded positive results.
“One the most important outcomes of Turkey’s fight against terror is the progress we have made in terms dealing great blows to the drug trade. Terrorism cannot be fought unless it is targeted in all aspects,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan stated that Turkey’s crackdown on drug trafficking also harms terrorist organizations. He reiterated that it was not an accident that drugs, alcohol and tobacco fuel terrorist organizations.
He said that 52,000 people have been imprisoned in Turkey due to drug trafficking charges.
“Addiction and terror resemble each other. The swamp must be drained for an effective fight against both,” he added.
“Therefore, the struggle against addictive products is also a struggle to dry out the resources of terrorism,” he said.
He also said that electronic addiction is now considered a big threat to society as well.