Turkish PM says Islamophobia should prompt similar reaction as Paris rally

French President Francois Hollande welcomes Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, left, at the Elysee Palace, Paris, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. (AP)

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday hailed the unprecedented rally against terror in Paris as a strong message to the world, adding he would expect a similar reaction to attacks on Muslims and Islamophobia.

Davutoglu joined dozens of other world leaders at the march in Paris to mourn the victims of the three days of terror by Islamists that began with the slaughter of 12 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The presence of Davutoglu, one of the top Muslim leaders to attend the rally, was seen in Turkey as hugely symbolic given that Charlie Hebdo had often lampooned the Prophet Mohammed.

“It is a message to the whole world that everyone must confront the threat of terror,” Davutoglu told reporters at the Turkish embassy in Paris in televised comments.

“We would expect the same sensitivities to be shown to attacks on mosque or Islamophobia,” he added after attending the rally which mobilised over a million people in Paris alone.

He praised a comment by French President Francois Hollande that “these fanatics (who carried out the attacks) have nothing to do with Muslim religion” as being of the “utmost importance”.

He said that the attackers had not grown up in Muslim countries but “in Paris” and it was this environment that should be examined.

“Turkey’s stance is principled and we will keep up this attitude,” he said. “Turkey has the same values around the world as far as terror is concerned. There can be no double standards.”

He added that Turkey would continue to raise its voice against terrorism of all forms including what he described as “state terrorism” against the Palestinians and in Syria.

There had been controversy on social media over Davutoglu’s attendance at the rally, with critics saying Turkey’s record on press freedom meant his attendance was far from welcome.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43