Turkish and French officials discuss Islamophobia and Ukraine war in Ankara

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During a face-to-face meeting between Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın and Special Official of the French Presidency Gilles Kepel in the capital Ankara on Tuesday, the two officials discussed the situation of the Turkish and Muslim community living in France, the rise of Islamophobia and xenophobia in Europe. , the fight against terrorism, the war in Ukraine and bilateral relations.

According to a statement from Ankara, the current situation of Turkish and Muslim communities in France and the problems they encounter were discussed during the meeting. It was stated that the rise of anti-Islamism, xenophobia and racism must be resolutely combated.

Turkey has often said that Western countries insist on not taking action against rising anti-Islam sentiment and has called on Turkish institutions to act on issues related to Muslims and Turks in these countries. Some European countries, particularly France, have taken a hostile stance against Muslims in recent years.

“It was declared that the war must end as soon as possible so that the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine does not worsen further. While stressing the importance of the mediating role played by our President (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) in this process, Turkey was thanked for its efforts towards peace,” the statement added.

Maintaining its neutral and balanced position, Turkey continues its diplomatic efforts to defuse the Ukrainian conflict, urging all parties to exercise restraint. While Ankara has opposed international sanctions meant to isolate Moscow, it has also closed its strait to prevent some Russian ships from crossing the Turkish strait.

A NATO ally, Turkey borders Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and enjoys good relations with both. Since the start of the conflict, Ankara has offered to mediate between the two sides and host peace talks, stressing its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. After calling the Russian invasion an unacceptable violation of international law, Turkey has carefully crafted its rhetoric so as not to offend Moscow, with which it has close ties in energy, defense and tourism.

Unlike Europe, Turkey did not close its airspace to Russian planes, but Erdoğan said Turkey had done “everything necessary within the framework of United Nations rules”. He added that Turkey had provided support to Ukraine “despite Russia” and more than other NATO countries, sending more than 50 humanitarian aid trucks.

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