Following is the message President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued on Human Rights Day:
“On the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I congratulate the Human Rights Day for my fellow citizens and the entire World.
Turkey, as one of the first countries that signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is also a party to the core international human rights conventions of the United Nations. Respect for human rights, based on the principles of equality of persons before the law and non-discrimination, is an unwavering feature of the Republic of Turkey.
Through the reforms and arrangements realized over the past 15 years, our country has consolidated this basic feature even further. Obstacles preventing the enjoyment of our people’s beliefs have been eliminated, the lingering oversight effects from coup d’état periods have been removed, and the bond between the State and its citizens have been further strengthened.
Today, Turkey is as advanced as it has not ever been, regarding the exercise of democratic rights and freedoms. This is one of the reasons why the bloody coup attempt of July 15, aimed at usurping the democratic achievements, independence, rights and freedoms of our nation, was fortunately foiled. The Turkish nation, by the heroic resistance it has displayed at the cost of 251 martyrs, not only defended its national will, but also democracy.
Without doubt, in various parts of the world, the greatest threat to people’s enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms, primarily the right to life, are posed by terrorist organizations. Bloody-handed gangs such as Daesh, FETO, PKK, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and YPG are the greatest enemies to humanity, with the murders they commit and the bloods of innocent people they spilled. Without any distinction, Turkey will resolutely continue its fight against terror, within the rules of law and democracy.
We, on the other hand, witness even in countries claiming to be cradles of democracy, that discrimination, cultural racism and rights violations are on the rise. Islamophobic and xenophobic movements are increasingly getting closer to the center of politics in Western countries. Millions of people become marginalized and exposed to repression and violence on the account of their language, religion, color and culture. The indifference displayed vis-à-vis the atrocities suffered by Muslims in Rakhine State is the latest example to this fact.
We should not forget that any persecution watched by in silence and indifference will make the cruel more fearless. Every tragedy which is overlooked is a precursor to new ones.
Acting on the motto “If you want the state to live, you have to let its people live”, Turkey will continue to be the staunch defender of justice, peace, rights and freedoms within and outside its borders. Without giving credit to perception operations, we will continue to stand by all the oppressed and the aggrieved, from Palestine to Syria, and from Asia to Africa.
With these thoughts in mind, I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate the 10th December Human Rights Day and wish that this exclusive day brings peace, tranquility and justice to our nation and all humanity.”