The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that ISIS is a virus which is attempting to destroy the Muslim community around the world.
He made this known on Wednesday in a joint press conference following his meeting with the Iranian president where he harshly criticized the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and their activities for causing damage to Muslims as a whole and Islam as a religion.
“The target of ISIS is the Muslims in the region” said Erdoğan, who underlined that the source of ISIS’s financing must be questioned.
Iraqi President Fuad Masum also agreed with Erdoğan and stated that ISIS is a major virus which spreads out very quickly. He said: “If the virus (ISIS) is not destroyed, it may spread to other countries in the region and eventually throughout the world” and called for joint cooperation to fight the terrorist organization.
Masum praised Turkey’s support for fighting against ISIS and said “Turkey is an extremely important neighbor for Iraq” and added that they are looking up to Turkey’s development, economy, social reforms and politics with admiration.
Erdoğan harshly criticized Europe regarding the recent sinking of migrant boats in the Mediterranean where hundreds of people have been killed. “I condemn Europe’s attitude towards the sinking migrant boats in the Mediterranean” Erdoğan said, and reminded that Turkey hosts about 2 million people for humanitarian motives, while saying that Europe’s stance is simply unacceptable.
Responding to a question about his views on recent reports claiming US President Barack Obama will not refer to the 1915 events as genocide; Erdoğan said that he was not expecting his American counterpart to refer to them as genocide. “I would not prefer hearing such thing from Obama neither was I expecting him to refer to the 1915 events as genocide” Erdoğan said, adding that the U.S.’s stance regarding the matter is clear. He added that Turkey’s stance and position are clear. “On April 24 commemorations, Turkey will talk about peace, not Armenia,” Erdoğan said, who noted that Armenia will talk about Turkey and insult the country while Turkey emphasizes a conciliatory approach to the issue.
President Erdoğan consistently expresses disapproval about terrorist organizations like ISIS. Most recently, he stated that ISIS is the greatest enemy of Islam and added that they subject Muslims to great sufferance and create a wrong and negative perception of Islam.
Iraqi President Fuad Masum, along with a high-level governmental delegation, will be staying in Turkey until April 23 to discuss regional and international developments, with special emphasis on the fight against ISIS. He will also be holding meetings with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek.