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Turkey pledges to prepare annual reports on rising Islamophobia

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Turkey on 27 January 2021. [Cem Özdel - Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Turkey on 27 January 2021 [Cem Özdel/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey will prepare annual reports on Islamophobia in its ongoing effort to combat anti-Muslim hatred. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced Ankara's pledge yesterday while speaking at the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) seventh congress in Antalya province.

Cavusoglu is reported saying that until today, the European Union and the United States have been publishing reports on Turkey and other countries, but from now on, Turkey will also produce its own reports "for the good of humanity",

Declaring that Turkey will take greater interest in monitoring Islamophobia, Cavusoglu went on to say that Ankara will no longer play the game by others' rules in matters that concern itself. "Diplomacy is always our priority, but we also teach those who do not believe in diplomacy to come back to the table."

Yesterday's announcement comes on the back of rising anti-Muslim racism in Europe and a bitter row between Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the French president's deeply controversial statement at the end of last year on dealing with what he called "Muslim separatism" and claiming that "Islam is in crises."

The speech sparked outrage. French goods were boycotted in a number of countries, while human rights groups accused Macron of using "divisive" language and opting for policies towards Arabs and Muslims that were in line with the extreme right-wing, which calls for the closure of mosques and the imposition of strict controls on Muslims. Tukey also accused Macron of "encouraging Islamophobia."

"Making Islam and Muslims a scapegoat for the failures of the French Republic is a far cry from rational policy," Ankara's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter in October.

President Erdogan was one of the few Muslim leaders to openly denounce Macron following his speech. He expressed his hope that France would rid itself of Macron, saying that he is a burden on France and its politics.

In 2019 Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia agreed to jointly fight the rising global trend of Islamophobia, mainly in the West. The agreement was reached at a trilateral meeting on the side-lines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Pakistan's Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

READ: Muslims concerned about rise of Islamophobia in Germany 

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