Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday that the United Nations needs to “review” itself if it fails to ensure world peace and claimed that the UN is responsible for the ongoing Israeli strikes on Gaza.
“Why was the UN established? Wasn’t it to ensure world peace? If the UN fails to fulfill this task, it has to check itself,” said Erdoğan and called the UN “number one responsible” for the Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Israel has bombarded 470 targets, killing 204 people and wounding some 1,450 since July 8. On the Israeli side, one Israeli man was killed and several were wounded during the clashes.
Speaking at an iftar, Erdoğan said Israel, with its illegal embargo on Gaza and the building of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, makes a two-state solution impossible and called on Israel to halt its attacks on Gaza.
He also criticized the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), saying that only the five permanent members make the decisions.
A founding member of the UN, Turkey has served four terms on the UNSC, a body which allots 10 rotating seats in addition to its five permanent members. After serving as a temporary member of the UNSC from 2009-2010, Turkey once again announced its candidacy in 2011 for 2015-2016.
Touching upon the civil war in Syria, Erdoğan noted that Turkey hosts 1.15 million Syrian refugees, spending over $3.5 billion for Syrians.
Underlining that Turkey and other neighboring countries of Syria have adopted a humanitarian approach despite significant economic and social strains, Erdoğan said the international community has failed to provide the necessary support to those countries that are helping Syrians.
With regard to the ongoing turmoil in Iraq, Erdoğan holds the Iraqi government responsible for the current crisis, saying that it ignored the power and income-sharing principles listed in Iraq’s constitution.
“Turkey’s security and stability are directly affected by the negative developments in the region [Middle East]. However, if the crisis grows deeper, it is inevitable that the threat to security and stability caused by this region would [adversely] affect the entire world,” he said.
Consul General Öztürk Yılmaz, members of the Turkish special forces and a number of diplomats and their dependents were kidnapped on June 11 when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized the Turkish Consulate General in Mosul.
Erdoğan responded to claims that Turkey supports terrorist organizations, including ISIL, al-Qaeda and the al-Nusra Front, describing those claims as “ridiculous.”
“The Turkish government is said to support ISIL, al-Qaeda and Iran. Those who know the region [Middle East] are well aware of the fact that these three parties are completely different from one another and claims that Turkey supports all of them at the same time are beyond ridiculous,” he said.
In remarks about those who attempt to illegally cross the Turkish border to fight with radicals in Iraq and Syria, Erdoğan said Turkey sends those people back to their countries and called on all concerned countries to cooperate with Turkey and take measures against those illegal attempts.