EU must also speak out, as did UN’s Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan (podium, right) and Ban Ki-moon (seated second from left)
GENEVA, March 3, 2013 – UN Watch, the Geneva-based human rights group that was first to expose and criticize the Turkish prime minister’s UN speech calling Zionism a “crime against humanity,” welcomed the latest statement by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle condemning Mr. Erdogan’s remarks as “hurtful and unacceptable.”
UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer urged European Union leaders to speak out as well, noting that many EU representatives were present at the Vienna speech yet stayed silent.
“We call on EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, EU Commission President Barroso, EU Council President Hermann Van Rompuy, and European Parliament president Shulz to issue strong and unequivocal statements condemning the repugnant speech of the Turkish prime minister. If the UN, Germany and the US have done so, the EU should do the right thing as well,” said Neuer.
“For Mr. Erdogan to attack a fellow UN member state’s right to self-determination, and its historical and cultural underpinnings, is inconsistent with Turkey’s international obligations under UN conventions against incitement to racism,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.
Other world leaders have also condemned Mr. Erdogan:
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: “This is a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world.” Source
White House: “We reject Prime Minister Erdogan’s characterization of Zionism as a crime against humanity, which is offensive and wrong… We encourage people of all faiths, cultures, and ideas to denounce hateful actions and to overcome the differences of our times.” Source
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon: Mr. Erdogan’s comment was “not only wrong but contradicts the very principles on which the Alliance of Civilizations is based… The Secretary-General believes is it is unfortunate that such hurtful and divisive comments were uttered at a meeting being held under the theme of responsible leadership.” Source
US Secretary of State John Kerry: “We not only disagree with it. We found it objectionable.” Source
Senior US State Dept. Official: “This was particularly offensive, frankly, to call Zionism a crime against humanity”… The pattern of Turkish denunciations of Israel is having a “corrosive effect” on American-Turkish relations. Full transcript
The following submissions by United Nations Watch have been published by the UN as official documents of the 48th session of the Human Rights Council: