Turkish President Warns Of Clash Of Civilizations
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday warned of a “clash of civilizations” following the wake of the Islamist militant attacks in Paris and he also appeared to criticize France for allowing the wife of one of the gunmen to travel via Turkey to Syria.
Speaking at a businessmen’s meeting in the capital Ankara, Erdogan said Charlie Hebdo was known for its provocative publications.
“We are following with great concern the attacks against Islam hidden behind the attack on the satirical magazine in France,” said Erdogan, who has become an increasingly vocal critic of what he sees as mounting Islamaphobia in the West.
“Despite all our efforts to prevent it, the clash of civilizations thesis is being brought to life.”
Erdogan said the decision to print millions of copies of the magazine had nothing to do with freedom of expression and was instead “terrorizing the freedom of others”.
Without giving names, Erdogan also appeared to take aim at the French authorities for allowing Hayat Boumeddiene, the wife of one of the gunmen, to travel to Turkey in the days before the attacks. She is now thought to be in Syria.
“They are talking about people who go through Turkey, but they should first learn how to check passports when these people are leaving their own country,” Erdogan said.
Turkey has tightened its border security after facing criticism for allowing hundreds of European would-be militants transit into neighboring Syria to join up with radical groups, including Islamic State.