Turkey rejects any ‘witch hunt’ against Russians and Russian culture – Middle East Monitor

Turkey’s president on Wednesday firmly rejected any initiative resembling a “witch hunt” against the Russian people, arts, scholars or artists, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“Just as we would not abandon Ukraine, we also do not accept actions akin to a witch hunt against Russian people, literature, students or artists,” President Recep said. Tayyip Erdogan to the parliamentary group of his Justice and Development (AK) party.

Citing the German Philharmonic Orchestra in Munich which fired a Russian conductor for his support of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Erdogan said such “fascist practices” cast a shadow over Ukraine’s “legitimate struggle” to resist the Russian troops by fueling a “climate of hatred and resentment and by sowing new grievances”. .”

The Turkish president also criticized international organizations for “failing to act on war zones, especially the UN Security Council”.

Erdogan has long blamed the UN’s impotence on global issues and pushed for a more internationally open Security Council.

READ: Turkey to host foreign ministers from Russia and Ukraine in bid to reach ceasefire

On refugees fleeing war in Ukraine, while some African and Asian refugees have been held back, Erdogan said a mindset that discriminates against the oppressed because of their religion, national origin or color of their skin has nothing to do with humanity or civilization.

Ankara has never labeled those fleeing war and persecution based on their language, religion or skin color, he said.

Turkey hosts more than 4 million refugees, most from war-torn Syria, more than any country in the world.

As Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish foreign ministers are due to meet this week in the southern Turkish resort of Antalya, Erdogan also highlighted Turkey’s strenuous diplomatic efforts to end the war .

He said he hoped the meeting, to be held on the eve of the three-day Antalya Diplomatic Forum, would “open the door” to a permanent ceasefire in Ukraine.

Helen D. Jessen