President Erdoğan Addresses The Un General Assembly

Helsinki Büyükelçiliği 22.09.2016

Delivering an address at the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, President Erdoğan stated that the UN must be reformed and said: “It is obvious that unless the Security Council, which is the main organ responsible for establishment of international peace and security, is reformed, these efforts will not reach their purpose completely. For his reason, I remind the reality that ‘the World is bigger than 5’ to the international public opinion on every occasion.”

Wishing that the 71st Session of UN General Assembly succeed in its purposes and lead to favorable consequences for all countries and nations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “I congratulate H.E. Peter Thomson taking over the presidency, and I thank H.H. Mogens Lykketoft for his work during his presidency.”

Thanking UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his precious contributions, the President said: “In the first quarter of the 21st century, the humankind lives through a peak period of achievements in science, technology, economic development and health conditions. However, this picture has also a disgraceful, dark face.”


“In Syria, Iraq, and many countries suffering in the claws of terrorism and war, hundreds of thousands of children, women, young and old people continue to be killed,” President Erdoğan reminded and said: “Refugees running away from death and tyranny face degrading treatment in European cities. Terrorist organizations such as DAESH, Al Nusra and DUP-YPG continue their acts in the region. There is a risk that controversies in Caucasia may turn into hot conflicts. Many problems from Yemen to Ukraine are of particular urgency. On the other side, people in many countries of the world struggle with hunger, epidemics, poverty and illiteracy. This is a disgraceful picture injuring human dignity and disturbing human conscience.”

Pointing out that many of these crises and problems could be easily solved, President Erdoğan said: “Peace, prosperity and security of future generations depend on the steps and precautions we take today. This is the time of showing leadership with a consciousness of our responsibilities and addressing the problems decisively.”


Stating that terrorist organizations could employ various methods, President Erdoğan said: “As Turkey, on the night of July 15, we were exposed to a malicious coup attempt initiated by FETO (Fethullah Terrorist Organization). This terrorist organization murdered 241 citizens and injured 2 thousand 194 of them. Our Parliament building, Presidential Complex and units of our security organizations were bombed by this terrorist organization with warplanes. Tanks rolled over the streets and people; helicopters and military vehicles opened fire on civilians. This coup attempt was prevented by our nation protecting heroically its democracy, government, freedoms, future and constitutional order. I take pride in my nation who defeated this heinous coup attempt by risking their lives and using their bodies as shields in front of tanks. I take pride in my nation who stood democracy watch all night for 29 days. If I stand in front of you today, it is due to our nation’s brave and noble stance. It should not be forgotten that the coup attempt in Turkey aimed at the world democracy as well. Our nation gave a historic lesson to the ones intending ever again to stage coup attempts, and became a source of inspiration for all nations which believe in democracy.”

Underscoring that this “new generation terrorist organization” FETO is a national security threat for not only Turkey but also all 170 countries where it exists, President Erdoğan said: “In other words, today the majority of the countries represented in this General Assembly is under the threat of this clandestine structure. This terrorist organization is in a deep mental heresy of subduing the whole world, beyond Turkey. The basic strategy of this terrorist organization is infiltrating the state institutions, influencing the society and dominating the economic resources under the guise of education, dialogue, tolerance and non-governmental organizations.”

Calling on heads of state and government as well as delegates at the UN General Assembly to take the necessary measures quickly against the FETO for their own safety, for the future of their countries, President Erdoğan said: “It is evident from our experience that if you do not fight against FETO now, tomorrow may be too late. On this occasion, I also would like to state that the attributions like Turkish or Turkey used by this terrorist organization and the persons associated with it, have no relation with our country.”


“Humanitarian crisis in Syria has nearly reached its 6th year. Because of this war, 600 thousand of people have reportedly lost their lives, 12 million people have left their country and 5 million of them have taken refuge in other countries,” President Erdoğan said, adding that Turkey is hosting nearly 3 million Syrians obliged to leave their homeland. The President said: “We do not ask ‘Why did you come to Turkey?’. We have not closed our doors. We have done our humanitarian and conscientious duty to these people who fled barrel bombs and air strikes. We will continue to do so. The world may not let them in. The West may not let them in, but we will. Why? Because, we are human beings. Therefore, we have to open our doors to human beings in the face of such a catastrophy. We have opened our doors and we will. I observe that international community has been simply listening these numbers indifferently and unresponsively for a long time. However, each number pronounced corresponds to a human being.”


President Erdoğan stated: “Syrian people is exhausted in the grip of proxy wars which have been shaped by a cruel administration, unmerciful terrorist organizations, global and regional competition. In this process, unfortunately, the international community has failed in living up to humanitarian values and conscience. We have spent $12.5 billion so far. Our NGOs and municipalities have spent as much as that, which means we have spent nearly $25 billion in total. How much have we received from the world? The support the UN, under whose roof we are right now, has provided us so far is $525 million. That is it. Has anything come from the European Union? Unfortunately, the EU has not been able to keep its promises. They have sent $178 million to the UNICEF. That is all. However, they have not sent any help to Turkey for this issue. We have taken care to act in close contact and cooperation with regional and global actors with the belief that this matter is a common issue of all humanity. We could not, did not and will not stay in silence in the face of this doomsday which our neighbor and relative Syrian people have been living through. Regardless of ethnic, sectarian or religious differences, we have embraced 3 million Syrians taken refuge in Turkey. We will continue our support to these people we host in container and tent cities in Turkey. The European Union and the countries that promised to contribute in this regard have not kept their promises. We expect them to keep their promises. We also expect the promises given by the UN to be kept.”


“From this rostrum, I address to all international community and all European friends who perceive Syrian refugees as a vital threat for themselves,” President Erdoğan said and he added: “It is a futile effort to look for peace behind the barbed wire fences and high walls. If we cannot find a solution for the education, employment and housing problems of Syrian refugees quickly, we cannot prevent the irregular migration, social issues and security risks. We cannot lose any more time for terminating the conflict, terrorism and persecution environment which is the source of problem in Syria and for implementing the political settlement process.”

“Turkey is a country that gives utmost importance to the protection of the Syria’s territorial integrity and political unity,” President Erdoğan underlined and said: “Turkey by no means has any interest in Syrian territory. Syria belongs to Syrian people. Nobody must have any other plans for it.” The President added: “Starting with our support for the Syrian opposition, the Operation Euphrates Shield has a critical importance for the re-establishment of the stability, peace and balance in a region in the grips of despair.”


“It has emerged clearly with this operation that the priority of the terrorist organization PKK-PYD is not fighting against DEASH,” President Erdoğan stated and he said: “This operation also has also propped up the self-confidence of moderate Syrian opposition. Moreover, this development has encouraged the local forces in Iraq who are eager to clean up Mosul from DEASH terrorism. As you are aware, I have for a long time appealed to establish a safe zone along our border with Syria. We share a 911-km-long border. We have the longest border. And Turkey is under threat along these borders. We have been patient. However, they made a 14-year-old boy a suicide bomber, sent him to blow up a wedding ceremony in Gaziantep. 56 people died there and nearly 100 were wounded. After that, Turkey could not wait any longer. We, with moderate opposition, intervened. First, we cleared Jarabulus of DAESH. Then, we cleared Al Rai of DAESH. Local people have moved back to Jarabulus and Al Rai. Now, the region from Azaz to Euphrates is no longer a terror corridor. It has become a peace corridor. The aim of the operation we have launched now is to implement effectively this safe zone. Jarabulus population, we have rescued from terrorist organizations, have begun to return to their homes in safety and peace. We have taken action immediately to make the region's electricity and water infrastructure functional. Turkish Red Crescent, The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) and Turkish civil society organizations meet the needs of community in place. Also we plan to build settlements with all social facilities for refuges in this area. Therefore, we should show a determined stance to declare of these safe zones as “no-fly zone” and we must work together for this purpose.”

Stating that the ceasefire which they make intense efforts to implement, has not worked, President Erdoğan pointed out that the Syrian regime does not allow assistance under the surveillance of the United Nations to the people of Aleppo who are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The President asked: “When the United Nations and the Security Council will end tolerating the Regime’s policy of “either surrender of die” condemning civilians to hunger?”


Regarding Iraq, President Erdoğan said: “It is clear that it will not be easy to establish an ideal political system to protect ethnic and sectarian diversity comprising in its essence the greatest force of Iraq.” Underlining that Mosul Operation should be conducted by taking into consideration the sensitivities of the people of the region, President Erdoğan said: “Otherwise, outbreak of a new humanitarian crisis that will create new problems in the region and may force more than 1 million people to flee is inevitable. We should not leave alone the Iraqi people in this critical period when they need the whole support of the international community.”

“Allowing the Palestinian people to live in an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital based on two state solution is an obligation of the international community towards the Palestinian children,” President Erdoğan underscored and he said: “Israel should show respect to the sanctity of Haram al-Sharif and give an end to violations regarding its status.” Stating that they will try to benefit from our normalized relations with Israel to facilitate the peace process and solve the economic and humanitarian problems faced by our Palestinian brothers and sisters, the President said Turkey will continue its efforts for sending humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

Referring to the World Humanitarian Summit held previous May in Turkey for the first time in its history, President Erdoğan said they consider the Summit as an important opportunity to discover new ways for more effective intervention in crises.


Noting that the US, the UK and Turkey rank respectively the top in terms of providing support to the least developed countries, and Turkey ranks first in proportion to the GNP, President Erdoğan said: “Hosting the greatest number of refugees across the world, Turkey exerts every effort to prevent irregular migration, as well.” The President stated: “Upon the initiative of Turkey, the subject of Syrian refugees was handled in the UN General Assembly session last year for the first time. Similarly, the subjects of migration and terrorism were included in the G-20 agenda upon the initiatives of Turkey. We act in cooperation with the European Union against refugee crisis. With a view to preventing deaths in the Aegean Sea, we succeeded in reducing the number of irregular migration to 50 recently, which was 7000 per day in October 2015. This table indicates that Turkey has successfully fulfilled its commitments within the framework of its agreement with the European Union. Nevertheless, we regret that the promises made by the European Union with the agreement dated 18 March 2016 has been nearly forgotten, and artificial excuses are raised all the time.”


“We appreciate the steps taken under the leadership of Secretary General Ban Ki Moon with regard to the UN reform and making especially peace keeping and peace making activities more effective,” President Erdoğan said and he added: “In addition, it is obvious that unless the Security Council, which is the main organ responsible for establishment of international peace and security, is reformed, these efforts will not reach their purpose completely. For his reason, I remind the reality that ‘the World is bigger than 5’ to the international public opinion on every occasion.”

Criticizing the permanent-member system of the United Nations Security Council, President Erdoğan underscored: “We should reach the broadest compromise possible on a comprehensive reform that will make the Security Council a more democratic, fair, transparent and effective structure whose representative feature is strengthened.”


“Being another side of racism and xenophobia, Islamophobia is of utmost importance for Turkey which has millions of citizens abroad,” President Erdoğan said and he added: “The Alliance of Civilizations Project that we pioneered with the Spanish Prime Minister of that time nearly 10 years ago, aims at finding permanent solutions to such dangerous movements threatening our age.”

“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that we created together includes assertive and transformative goals for all of us,” President Erdoğan said, noting that official development assistances should be continued for the Least Developed Countries. “Turkey’s Official Development Assistance has reached $3.9 billion in 2015. This ratio corresponding to %0.54 of our Gross National Product is beyond the OECD average and approach us remarkably to the UN target which is %0.7. As Turkey, we surpassed our commitment for providing a support of $200 million annually to the Least Developed Countries in 2011 and provided more than $1.5 billion in 5 years.”

President Erdoğan ended his speech as follows: “I wish that the 71st General Assembly will be a beginning for relieving the pains faced and changing our world.”


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