Turkey’s EU minister warns against identifying Islam with terror


Minister Bozkir attends think tank meeting on Saturday during his two-day visit to Brussels.

 BRUSSELS : Identifying Islam with terror is a mistake that should be avoided, Turkey’s EU minister told an anti-terrorism meeting in Brussels on Saturday.

The terms like Islamic terrorism and Islamic state are offending Muslims and should not be used, Volkan Bozkir said at the German Marshall Fund’s 2015 Brussels Forum session on “Countering the New Wave of Terrorism at Home and Abroad.”

“Using the terminology Islamic state or Islamic terrorism, I do not think is the correct thing to do, because then we are naming something in a wrong way and causing the rest of the Islamic world to feel bad,” said Bozkir.

Regarding the criticism on Turkey that the country allows volunteers from Europe to reach terrorist groups, Bozkir said: “We have 39 million tourists coming to Turkey; we cannot check who is a terrorist, who is tourist, who is coming there for academic life.

“We stopped 12,500 persons, not all of them from Europe but from all over the world, to enter into Turkey and we have captured 1,200 people who are already in Turkey thanks to intelligence sharing.”

Turkey is often criticized for not being able to control its more than 800-kilometer-long border with Syria, sometimes referred to as a “highway to terrorism.”

Rejecting the criticism, Bozkir said Turkey is doing its part, and added: “Turkey has never work with Daesh and never will.”

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu highlighted previously the intelligence sharing issue with regards to foreign fighters trying to join Daesh, saying Turkey can cope with the foreign fighters issue only with other countries’ cooperation.


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