Posted tagged ‘Turkey’

Protesters take down Dutch flag & put up Turkey’s at Istanbul consulate (VIDEOS, PHOTO)

March 12, 2017

Turkish protesters outside the consulate general of the Netherlands in Istanbul pulled down the Dutch flag and replaced it with Turkey’s as a diplomatic row escalates between the two countries.

Source: Protesters take down Dutch flag & put up Turkey’s at Istanbul consulate (VIDEOS, PHOTO) — RT News

A Turkish flag flies over the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, March 12, 2017. ©Huseyin Aldemir / Reuters

Turkish protesters outside the consulate general of the Netherlands in Istanbul pulled down the Dutch flag and replaced it with Turkey’s as a diplomatic row escalates between the two countries.

NTV reports that the Dutch flag was taken down at midday for about an hour on Sunday before being restored above the consulate.

One member of a small group of protesters that gathered outside the consulate’s gates early on Sunday managed to climb onto the building’s roof despite police barricades. He then lowered the Dutch flag and raised the Turkish one in its place.

Turkish media are reporting that protests are continuing outside the building.

This incident follows a mass rally that took place outside the building on Saturday night, which led the consulate to be closed for security reasons.

The protests come amid a major diplomatic row between the Dutch and Turkish governments over efforts by the latter to marshal support for a constitutional referendum next month among Turkish citizens in the Netherlands.

On Saturday, Dutch authorities refused permission for Turkey’s foreign minister to land, and the Turkish family affairs minister was later deported after entering the Netherlands by land to attend a political rally.

READ MORE: Dutch police deport Turkish minister to Germany after barring her from consulate in Rotterdam

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan branded the Dutch authorities “Nazi remnants, fascists” after permission for Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight to land was revoked. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte fired back, saying the comments were “way out of line.”

Saturday night saw skirmishes in the streets of Rotterdam as Turkish demonstrators protested the Dutch government. The gathering turned violent as protesters hurled missiles and clashed with riot police, who unleashed water cannon to disperse the crowd.

Turkish minister blocked by Dutch police from entering Rotterdam Consulate

March 12, 2017

Turkey’s family affairs minister has said her convoy was blocked by Dutch police from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Source: Turkish minister blocked by Dutch police from entering Rotterdam Consulate — RT News

Turkey’s family affairs minister has said her convoy was blocked by Dutch police from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Kaya has been reportedly detained by the Dutch police and is being held at the consulate before being further escorted to Germany, RTL News reported.

“We were stopped at the Consulate General of Rotterdam 30 meters away and were not allowed to enter,” Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya wrote earlier on Twitter, adding that by denying her access to the building “Netherlands is violating all international laws, conventions and human rights.”

 With mass rallies still ongoing at the consulate, the Dutch police asked Kaya to promptly leave the country for Germany, accompanied by a police convoy.
“You must go back to the German border,” the police told the minister, as reported by NOS correspondent Robert Bas.However, the minister reportedly rejected the request, after police refused to let her address the protesters, NOS reported.https://twitter.com/robertpbas/status/840682320969498624?ref_src=twsrc%5EtfwLet me have five minutes to talk to my people,” she asked.Police are reportedly preparing to disperse the demonstration at the consulate. Units of the Dutch Special Intervention Service (DSI) have been spotted arriving at the site.

Anadolu reports that the Dutch police also blocked its correspondents along with reporters from Turkey’s TRT channel, who were with the minister to cover her visit.

Pro-Turkish demonstrators have gathered outside the Turkish Consulate in Rotterdam to protest the actions of the Dutch authorities. According to AP, some 100 people took to the streets to join the demonstration, while some eyewitnesses put their number at 500.

The demonstrators were waving Turkish national flags and standing near the consulate entrance. As the crowd grew, the Dutch police took additional security measures at the scene. The police officers put up railings to keep anyone from getting too close and deployed additional forces to the consulate, according to AP.

Channels CNN Turk and NTV earlier reported that the convoy of Turkey’s family minister was stopped at the Netherlands border.

The incident involving the Turkish family minister comes just hours after Dutch authorities revoked authorization for the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight, hours after he had warned that Turkey would retaliate if his visit was canceled.

Earlier, Cavusoglu insisted that he would go ahead with his visit to Rotterdam even if local Dutch authorities did not agree to his taking part in a rally promoting a change in Turkey’s constitution.

Cavusoglu intended to campaign at the rally to drum up votes in favor of an April referendum that would give the Turkish president new powers, but Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, banned the Turkish official from speaking in public in the city late Friday.

Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of Turkey’s ultranationalist MHP party, Semih Yalçın, has claimed the Turks were ready to stage a protest at the airport the Turkish Foreign Minister was supposed to land at.

“Our friends have now started a sit-in at the airport where the Foreign Ministry was planning to land,” Yalçın said, adding that the aim is to demonstrate a “reaction to Europe.”

Yalçın has also accused the European country of a “medieval mentality.”

MHP’s chairman Devlet Bahceli has discussed the sit-in with Head of Confederation of Turks in Europe, Cemal Cetin, Anadolu Agency reports. They decided the protest would be “in line with laws in the European country.”

Meanwhile, Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders has also been adding fuel to the fire, tweeting that the Turkish minister should “go away and never come back” and “take all her Turkish fans” as she leaves.

Turkish FM threatens Dutch with sanctions if they cancel his landing permit – and they do

March 11, 2017

Turkish FM threatens Dutch with sanctions if they cancel his landing permit – and they do

Source: Turkish FM threatens Dutch with sanctions if they cancel his landing permit – and they do — RT News

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L), Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (R) © Reuters

The Netherlands has barred a plane carrying Turkey’s foreign minister from landing, despite a threat he made earlier warning that such a move would prompt Turkey to impose sanctions on Holland, media in both countries report.

The Dutch revoked authorization for Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight hours after he had warned that Turkey would retaliate if his visit was canceled, CNN Turk and ANP news agencies reported.

Amsterdam said Ankara’s threat of sanctions over the visit “made search for a reasonable solution impossible” and added that concerns over public order and safety were the reason to cancel the ministerial visit.

On Saturday, Cavusoglu insisted that he would go ahead with his visit to Rotterdam even if local Dutch authorities did not agree to his taking part in a rally promoting a change in Turkey’s constitution.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu © Fabrizio Bensch

Cancelling the visit had been advocated by right-wing politician Geert Wilders, who secured a harsh dismissal from the Turkish top diplomat.

Dutch Wilders acts like a Nazi,” the Turkish minister said in an Saturday interview with CNNTurk. “He threatens the foreign minister of the Turkish Republic with not letting the airplane take off. But I will go today.

If the Netherlands cancels my flight clearance today then we will impose huge sanctions,” he added.

The rebuke came in reaction to the cancelation of Cavusoglu’s appearance at a rally of Turkish citizens working in Europe. The Dutch snub is the latest in a series of similar measures taken by several European nations, including Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands.

Cavusoglu intended to campaign at the rally to drum up votes in favor of an April referendum that would give the Turkish president new powers, but Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, banned the Turkish official from speaking in public in the city late on Friday.

He has diplomatic immunity and everything, so we will treat him with respect, but we have other instruments to prohibit things from happening in public spaces,” the mayor told reporters.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Hamburg, Germany March 7, 2017. © Fabian Bimmer

The Turkish minister said that, by preventing Turkish citizens from meeting with an official from their government, Holland’s authorities were effectively holding them hostage.

“These people are not your captives,” he said.

A number of other Turkish pre-referendum rallies have been canceled by local European authorities this week due to security concerns. However, observers say the conflict reflects a larger stand-off between NATO member Turkey and its European allies, which criticize Ankara for a heavy-handed crackdown in the wake of an attempted military coup last year. The Turkish government has fired or imprisoned thousands of alleged supporters of self-exiled US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara holds responsible for the coup, as well as a series of anti-government protest in recent years.

Commenting on the confrontation, Cavusoglu warned that the Europeans were putting cooperation with Turkey on issues like immigration control at risk. Brussels and Ankara have stuck a deal in which Turkey agreed to ramp up its border security and take back asylum seekers from Europe in exchange for financial aid and political benefits.

However, the visa-free travel for Turks going to the EU that was promised as part of the deal has failed to materialize, angering Turkish officials. Brussels says that Turkey first needs to revise its counterterrorism laws and address other issues, but Ankara considers the condition an infringement on its sovereignty.

Epic US, Russian, Turkish military summit on Syria

March 7, 2017

Epic US, Russian, Turkish military summit on Syria, DEBKAfile, March 7, 2017

(According to the article, the Syrian army “is now fully under Russian command.” Iran is not mentioned. — DM)

 

The three generals are most certainly working with open lines to their presidents – Gen. Dunford to President Trump; Gen. Gerasimov, to Vladimir Putin; and Gen. Akar, to Tayyip Erdogan. If they succeed in pulling off deals for working together, with their presidents’ endorsement, Trump will have achieved his oft-repeated target of teaming up with Moscow for eradicating ISIS.

***********************

EXCLUSIVE:  For the first time ever, the top soldiers of the United States, Russia and Turkey are holding a secret meeting in the Turkish town of Antalya for an urgent two-day effort to avert a clash between their three armies, which stand ominously face to face in northern Syria.

(See DEBKAfile’s exclusive disclosure on March 6)

Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian armed forces, and Gen. Hulusi Akar, Chief of Staff of the Turkish army sat down together on Tuesday, March 7.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the formal agenda for this extraordinary get-together is the state of the Syrian war. But they are ranging over for more comprehensive and detailed issues and addressing at least six urgent challegnes:

1. How to prevent the three armies whose armored convoys are currently converging on the north Syrian town of Mabij, now freed of the Islamic State’s grip, from clashing over which takes over.

2. How to turn this approaching collision round and make it the jumping-off point for their collaboration in the Syrian conflict at large and a concerted drive against the Islamic State, in particular.

3. The three army chiefs will scrutinize plans for a combined trilateral offensive to drive ISIS out of its Syrian capital, Raqqa.

4.  How to translate their three-way collaboration for defeating ISIS in Syria into a combined effort against the same foe in Iraq.

5.  If they are able to hammer out accords in Antalya, the three generals will consider how to apply them to managing the Syrian army, which is now fully under Russian command.

6.  In the event of their failure to reach terms for US-Russian-Turkish cooperation in Syria, the three army chiefs will seek understandings on dividing Syria into sectors. They will determine which sectors are to be ruled by US forces and out of bounds to Russian forces, and which will be placed under exclusive Russian control and barred to American intervention.

DEBKAfile’s military sources describe this unique rendezvous as the most important US-Russian military meeting since Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20.

The three generals are most certainly working with open lines to their presidents – Gen. Dunford to President Trump; Gen. Gerasimov, to Vladimir Putin; and Gen. Akar, to Tayyip Erdogan. If they succeed in pulling off deals for working together, with their presidents’ endorsement, Trump will have achieved his oft-repeated target of teaming up with Moscow for eradicating ISIS.

Putin, too, will have chalked up an historic diplomatic and strategic feat. For the first time since the end of World War II, and after years of cold war, the Russian and American armies will come together to fight a common enemy, namely radical Islamic terror, and create an umbrella for the Russian military operation to branch out into Iraq.

Erdogan will also come out ahead of the game. Turkey and its army will become strategic partners in determining Syria’s future and fighting ISIS. And Barack Obama’s departure from the White House will have marked the start of Turkey’s ascent to regional power status ahead of Iran.

Deputy PM says Turkey may hold referendum on executive presidency in April

January 23, 2017

Deputy PM says Turkey may hold referendum on executive presidency in April

Source: Deputy PM says Turkey may hold referendum on executive presidency in April – Turkish Minute

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said if proposed constitutional amendments that will officially bring an executive presidential system to Turkey are approved by Parliament, Turkey may hold a referendum in April.

“After Parliament makes its decision [about the proposed amendments], the best thing to do is to go to a referendum in the shortest time possible. Most probably, a referendum will be held in early April,” Kurtulmuş said during an interview on the A Haber news channel on Monday.

The first round of voting on the amendment package was done on Sunday. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) plans to hold the second round by Wednesday and will complete the entire process by Jan. 21.

The president has 15 days to sign the law or send it back to Parliament. If he approves it, the referendum must be held on the first Sunday 60 days after the law is published in the Official Gazette.

 

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http://shoebat.com/2017/01/16/major-muslim-leaders-declare-that-within-seven-years-the-muslim-caliphate-will-be-established-and-erdogan-will-be-caliph-of-the-muslim-world/

The UN and Obama’s Act of Aggression

January 14, 2017

The UN and Obama’s Act of Aggression, Gatestone InstituteMaria Polizoidou, January 14, 2017

UNSC Res. 2334 is an act of political aggression against foundation of the Judeo-Christian civilization and should be treated as such. The Jewish nation has every right to consider this attack as an act of war against it.

President Obama sometimes seems to have an indifference to historical truth that often borders on antagonism. Obama has again tried to re-write history by claiming that Greece, with the help of the winners of World War I, was an aggressive and imperialistic state that cared only to re-build its Empire against the Turks.

The notion that ancient non-Muslim nations are occupiers in their own lands, is repeated in the UN Resolution 2334.

Historically, Muslim forces began invading Syria in 634, and ended by conquering Constantinople in 1453. They invaded not only all of Turkey — obliterating the great Christian empire of Byzantium — but then went on to conquer all of North Africa, Greece, southern Spain, parts of Portugal and eastern Europe.

President Obama apparently did not learn about the Trojan War in school; he apparently never read Homer to know that the inhabitants of the Bosporus and much of Asia Minor were Greeks — just as he apparently never read the Bible, or the Greek and Roman historic records of the Jewish people and their capital, Jerusalem.

The US and the UN are not who determine what is historically true and what is not. These shameful votes should be reversed immediately; if not, all funding should be withdrawn from the United Nations. They are now, to paraphrase the words Vladimir Lenin, “paying for the rope with which members of the UN will hang them.”

If US President Barack Obama were uneducated, if his staff consisted of people who had never been taught history at school, if the government consisted of savages who have just emerged from the Amazon jungle, we could somehow “justify” their ignorance about the history of the Mediterranean and the Middle Eastern people.

But that is not what is going on. This ambush against Israel in UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which considers the Jewish people “occupiers” in their own ancient capital and the holiest part of it, is an act of jihad and an act of political violence – perpetrated by governments to achieve political goals.

This resolution did not randomly emerge from a historical moment, or as the result of political choices based on reasonable criteria to provide peace and stability in the region. It does not help either the Arabs living in the disputed territories — Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip – or the Israelis in any peace process. It is an act of vengeance against the foundations of Judeo-Christian civilization and should be treated as such. The Jewish nation has every right to consider this attack an act of war against it. It certainly is an act of war against the history of the Jews and the freedom, democracy, human rights, pluralism and rule of law that Israel represents in the Middle East.

President Obama and his government at the beginning of their service eight years ago turned against the history of the Greek nation with the same political aggression. Obama had a chance to do that when he went to the Turkish Parliament, on April 6, 2009.

Sadly, he did not acknowledge the genocide of the Greeks by the Turkish army under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Between 1913 and 1923, millions of Greeks who had lived in Turkey since before the great Christian Byzantine empire, were either slaughtered or driven out. According to some Greek historians, between 800,000 and 1,200,000 Greeks were slaughtered during this period; every year on September14, the State of Greece officially honors the memory of those who died in Asia Minor.

Instead, Obama gave political cover to what the Turks did by saying at the Turkish Parliament on April 6, 2009: “You freed yourself from foreign control, and you founded a republic that commands the respect of the United States and the wider world”.

The “foreign control” to which President Obama refers is the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, where the League of Nations was established. [1]

President Obama, in evident his enthusiasm to flatter the ego of Turkey’s current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “forgot” to mention some important events of that era. President Obama “forgot” all about the genocide of Greeks and Christians in Asia Minor by Mustafa Kemal’s Ataturk Turkish. Barack Obama methodically “murdered” historical truth, by ignoring the fact that the Greek army, after the end of World War I in 1918, was sent to Asia Minor under the instructions of the great powers and the winners of the war, to protect Christian populations from persecution, murders and rapes of Muslim Turkish. The Greek army did not go as an occupier but as a protector of human life and human rights.

President Obama sometimes seems to have an indifference to historical truth that often borders on antagonism.[2]

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately responded by saying that “history cannot be rewritten”.

Now, this is what President Obama has tried to do again: to re-write history by claiming that Greece, with the winners’ help of World War I, was an aggressive and imperialistic State that cared only to re-build its Empire against the Turks. In other words, President Obama seemed to mean that the winners of WW I were some Christian Countries who wanted through Greece to establish a Christian Empire, such as the Byzantine Empire, and that Muslim territories and the International Community should, as he was the leader of such a powerful nation, “adopt” his view of history.

The notion that ancient nations which are not Muslim are occupiers in their own lands, is repeated in the UN Resolution 2334.

Obama was complimenting Turkey on not returning to the Ottoman Empire, which officially ended in 1922.

Democracy in Turkey now -what is left of it, that is – consists of all the military and the judiciary purged of anyone who believed in government by the people. Just since August, Turkey has arrested more than 26,000 people, including 120 journalists and has closed 150 news outlets.

“There is no more critical journalism, 90 percent of the free press is destroyed directly or indirectly,” according to Erol Onderoglu, the Turkish representative for Reporters Without Borders. “Investigative journalism is considered treason. Journalism has been stolen by the government.”

Is that kind of clampdown what Europeans would eventually like to see happen here, too?

Historically, Muslim forces began invading Syria in 634, and ended by conquering Constantinople in 1453.

They invaded not only all of Turkey – obliterating the great Christian empire of Byzantium – but then went on to conquer all of North Africa, Greece, Southern Spain, parts of Portugal, and eastern Europe, including Hungary, Serbia and the Balkans.

Emperor Constantine the First had moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople and laid the foundation for Christianity to become the official religion of the Roman-Byzantine State and the Western world in general. Emperor Constantine had given the citizens of the Roman Empire the right of the religious tolerance, a liberal action 1700 years ago; today, many leaders in the Arab world say they cannot tolerate Christian Churches in their territories.

The Greeks wanted during the World War I to re-establish the Byzantine Empire, but the Turkish-Muslim world prevented it from happening. Instead, commencing in 1914-15, they conducted a genocide against both the Armenians, and the Greeks until 1923.

At present the Greek community in Turkey numbers around 3000 and are not allowed to attend Greek schools.

For President Obama, the Turkish “victory” seems to have been a sensational win against the Western-Christian world, even though it was this world that had made him President of the United States.

President Obama apparently “forgot” the American’s testimonies who helped the Greeks to escape from Kemal’s Turkish massacres. He “forgot” the 1.5 million Greek refugees who were expelled from their homes in Asia Minor by the Turkish army. The Turkish “democracy” which Mr. Obama so admires, built on seas of blood of other people who were living in those areas. Perhaps, refugees for President Obama and his government, are only those who are Muslims. All the others are “occupiers”…

But even if the Greek army went to Asia Minor as an occupier — if we adopt the most distorted view of history, where exactly it would be an occupier? In the cities that were inhabited by Greeks from the beginning of recorded history?

President Obama apparently did not learn about the Trojan War in school; he apparently never read Homer to know that the inhabitants of the Bosporus and much of Asia Minor were Greeks – just as he apparently never read the Bible, or the Greek and Roman historic records of the Jewish people and their capital, Jerusalem.

The Obama administration, to cover the president’s shameful ambush against the Jewish state, sought through Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, to shift the responsibility for the UN resolution onto the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu. Where does the US Democratic party’s downhill plummet end?

President Barack Obama addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session, September 20, 2016. UN Photo/Manuel Elias US President Addresses the Hall. General Debate of the seventy-first Regular Session of the General Assembly

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the UN General Assembly’s seventy-first session, September 20, 2016. (Image source: United Nations)

The US and the UN – both the Security Council and UNESCO – are not who determine what is historically true and what is not. These shameful votes should be reversed immediately; if not, all funding should be withdrawn from the United Nations, by United States and all freedom-loving democracies. They are now, to paraphrase the words of the Soviet Union’s Vladimir Lenin, “paying for the rope with which members of the UN will hang them.”


[1] President Obama also said in the same speech: At the end of World War I, Turkey could have succumbed to the foreign powers that were trying to claim its territory, or sought to restore an ancient empire”. The “ancient empire” that Obama refers to, is unclear – Ottoman or Byzantine – and the “foreign powers that were trying to claim its territory” were the winners of World War I, including the USA.

[2] Such as claiming for weeks that a video had caused the attacks on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya; his knowingly false promises to his own people about the effects of his Affordable Care Act; lies about the Internal Revenue Service; or his endless lies about the “Iran deal”.

Turkish ‘Ministry of Religion’ promotes martyrdom to children in colorful comic strips

December 31, 2016

Turkish ‘Ministry of Religion’ promotes martyrdom to children in colorful comic strips

Published time: 3 Apr, 2016 22:32 Edited time: 4 Apr, 2016 10:22

Source: Turkish ‘Ministry of Religion’ promotes martyrdom to children in colorful comic strips — RT News

The latest issue of a children’s magazine published by Diyanet, the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs, which is a government agency and the highest national religious body, contains a series of cartoons glorifying Islamic martyrdom.

A colorful cartoon titled “may god bless our martyrs, may their graves be full with holy light” features dialogues between parents and children that promotes an idea of religious martyrdom. In one box of the comics, a father says to his son: “How good it is to be a martyr…” He also adds that martyrdom gives a person an opportunity “to gain the right to go to heaven.”

In another box from the comics, a girl can be seen saying “I wish I could be a martyr.” “If you desire enough, Allah will give you that opportunity,” the mother in the box replies to the girl.

A statement near the last picture reads: “Our prophet says: a martyr feels the pain of dying as much as you feel pain when being pinched.”

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a dedication ceremony for an Islamic mosque in Lanham, Maryland, April 2, 2016 © Thomas Ramstack

Another statement attributed to Prophet Mohammed says: “A martyr would love to go back to the real world and be martyr 10 times more after the honoring and prestige they receive in the heaven.”

Psychologist and professor Dr. Serdar Degirmencioglu harshly criticized the latest issue of the Diyanet’s “Child Magazine” featuring the controversial comics, but said that introducing children into the ideas of radical Islam has long been part of the Turkish government’s policy.

“They want to use the drawings to transfer the message of martyrdom to children because they think it will be more attractive,” he said in an interview with the Turkish Evrensel newspaper adding that the idea of martyrdom promoted by the government describes it as a “painless death and a promise of heaven.”

“Religiosity has, in recent years, turned into a literal political tool. They do not even hide it. The Ministry of Religion was provided more money than several other ministries combined and continues intensive work for religious children,” he added.

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks at the Brookings Institute in Washington March 31, 2016. © Joshua Roberts

The professor also equated the mentality promoted by such comics with the mentality of those who committed deadly terrorist attacks in Turkish Ankara and Suruc, as well as Brussels and Paris.

“Turkey is overwhelmed with the pain of these massacres and with those pursuing the mentality of religiosity. All this has led to the death of people. Exactly the same mentality that blinds people to the horrors is what the Presidency of Religious Affairs is trying to spread among the children in Turkey. The children will grow up and they will run toward death when those in power tell them to,” he told Evrensel.

Diyanet follows and promotes the orthodox Sunni Islam tradition not only in Turkey, but also abroad. On Saturday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated a new multimillion Diyanet Center of America, calling it the Turkish-American Center of Culture and Civilization.

A complex, which, according to the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper, contains “one of the largest Turkish mosques” alongside conference halls, basketball courts, a restaurant, Turkish bath and a cultural research center, was built by funds from Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs as well as some NGOs.

During the opening ceremony, Erdogan called the complex “a center of civilizations” and said that it would serve both American Muslims and people of other faiths, as well as promote Islam’s message of love and compassion.