Speaking at a side event of the UN General Assembly in New York themed “Tackling Hate Speech” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, “We have people eating pork in our country and we did not interfere with them. We will not.”
At the high-level side event co-hosted by Turkey and Pakistan, Erdoğan pointed out that Azad Kashmir has been turned into an open prison, adding, “To pronounce terror together with the religion of peace Islam is a huge slander; it’s immoral. This cannot be accepted. As Turkey, we will continue to be pioneers in active fights against increasing Islamophobia, racism and hate speech.”
Erdoğan said hate speech was not freedom of expression, while “hate speech is becoming the normal at every hour in the social media and in TV programs. Muslims are the ones who are exposed the most to hate speech and insults to sacred values. Muslim women because they wear the headscarf are harassed at the streets, at the markets and at the workplace. Hate speech should never be counted as freedom of expression.”
Speaking on Azadi Kashmir, Erdoğan said the region has been turned into an open prison where everybody was expected to be vegetarian and those who are eating cow meat were oppressed: “We also eat cow meat. You say freedom of belief in one hand, and on the other hand, this is not a requirement of my belief. Why don’t you respect my belief? We have people eating pork in our country and we have not interfered. Their beliefs require that and that would not be any of our concern.”
Erdoğan said they supported the UN proposal to create a database for hate speech.
The Turkish leader also said “Islam, as a religion of peace, cannot be associated with terror. It is a huge slander, it is immoral. Such a thing cannot be accepted. As Turkey, we will continue to be pioneers in active fights against the increasing Islamophobia, racism and hate speech. I visited Israel as the prime minister. While we were passing to the Palestinian side, we were kept waiting in the car with my spouse, for half an hour. I could not understand why we were kept waiting. This is Israel’s approach to state leaders. If they like a certain person, then doors are open for them; when they dislike them, then doors are closed. They are never sincere.”
Erdoğan also mentioned the terror attack in New Zealand, saying, “We have to take the necessary precautions.”