Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Muslim countries to take genuine responsibility to resolve problems throughout the Muslim world on Thursday during his opening speech at the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit.
Heads of states attended the OIC summit in Istanbul where leaders will discuss issues including the occupied Palestinian territories, Syria, Yemen, Libya and the conflict in Karabakh, among other topics.
Erdogan has criticised external interventions to the political crises Muslim countries have currently faced indicating that Islamic world should develop its own internal solutions.
“We need to resolve our own problems. We should intervene [to the problems we face]. We do not intervene and others interfere [our own issues]. They interfere [regional issues] in order to get oil in the region. They are not aiming to secure peace there,” Erdogan said.
“We need to be very sensitive on this issue,” Erdogan underlined, pointing out that the Muslim world should have its own police force to deal with terror threats in the respective regions.
“I would especially like to express that this initiative is not meant to be against a particular country, but its target is [to eradicate] terror which requires a common responsibility of all the countries [in the world],” he stated.
“If this iniative reaches a level of effectiveness and capacity we wish, I believe a new era will be opened for the Islamic world,” he stressed.
Erdogan informed that members of the OIC summit have accepted the Turkish proposal to establish “The OIC Police, Cooperation, and Coordination Centre” which will be headquartered in Istanbul.
Terror targets Muslim world
Erdogan also strongly criticised Western double standards over the definition of terrorism and lack of Western sympathy in many terror attacks waged against civilians in the Muslim world.
“All the brutality of terrorist organisations is against the Muslims,” Erdogan pointed out.
Erdogan reminded that the issue of teror and violence is one of the biggest problems the Islamic world currently faces adding that “We remember very well how Afganistan was destroyed, hundreds of thousands of Muslims were killed and millions of them were suffered because of the Al-Qaide [activities in the country] in the past."
"Now, DAESH that took certain parts of Iraq and Syria under its control and tries to be more effective [force] in Libya, serving the same dirty purpose [of Al Qaide]."
"We also perceive Boko Haram and El-Shabab that wages terror activities in several parts of Africa in the same context," Erdogan said.
"Watch out! Except some spectacular actions, the brutality of these terror organisations is aimed against the Muslims,” he added.
Turkey will take over the organisation’s chair for the next two years during the summit, which will be held under the theme “Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace”.
Presidents and prime ministers from over 30 countries joined the summit in Istanbul.
Erdogan proposed to establish a separate women's conference under the framework of the OIC in which Muslim women can seek solutions to their problems.
Erdogan also pointed out that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the key to sustaining peace in the Middle East. He said that, as Muslims, the only way we can provide permanent peace in the whole region is to establish a Palestinian state which will have East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Turkish president also emphasised the Cyprus issue in his speech, saying that the OIC should end the isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which came under embargoes after declaring independence from the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus in 1983.