Terrorism remains one of the greatest global threats targeting human life, and recently, the PKK terrorist organization murdered 13 innocent lives in northern Iraq, with the world silent again, Turkey's foreign minister said Monday.
"Without international solidarity, and with the current double standards, we cannot eradicate this threat," Mevlut Cavusoglu told the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
"Having lost innocent lives to various terror groups, including the PKK, YPG, Daesh, and FETO, we know well that terror has no specific ideology," he said as one of the high-level speakers this week at the meeting held on Feb. 22-March 23.
Cavusoglu said xenophobia, racism, Islamophobia, and hate speech are rising worldwide, and the COVID-19 pandemic further increases such dangerous trends.
Publications and hate speech against Islam insult nearly 2 billion Muslims around the world, he stressed.
Regarding the fight against the pandemic, he said: "We shall give attention to the needs of vulnerable groups, including women, children, elderly, migrants, refugees, and persons deprived of their liberty."
"Equitable and affordable access to vaccines, medicines, and medical equipment is essential. These are the principles behind our global assistance efforts and our provision of free health care to all."
He noted that Turkey provides free treatment and vaccination for COVID-19 to all, including migrants and refugees, saying the country is assisting 157 countries and 12 international organizations in their efforts against the pandemic.
"In Syria, people continue to suffer from the ongoing military offenses by regime forces and terrorist attacks," Cavusoglu said.
"We contribute directly to the safety and well-being of 5 million civilians in northern Syria," he added.
"Turkey is the only corridor for cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria, and even this corridor is under attack. It is essential to maintain this assistance."
Referring to Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey, he said: "As the largest refugee-hosting country in the world, we uphold our international obligations, as well as the human rights and dignity of the people we are hosting."
The foreign minister said Israel continues to act with "absolute impunity" in the occupied Palestinian territories and that the "inhumane blockade" in Gaza and "expansions of illegal settlements by Israel remains a violation of human rights."
Turkey supports Ukraine's territorial integrity, including Crimea, and it will continue to support Crimean Tartars' aspirations "to live freely and safely in their historical homeland," Cavusoglu also noted.
He added: "Turkey closely follows the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region. The findings of the UN and other international reports are cause for concern.
"We share our concerns and expectations on the matter with the Chinese authorities. We expect transparency on this issue while respecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
"We continue to follow the developments regarding the possible visit of the high commissioner's team to the region, and upon China's invitation, we will also send our own national team to visit the region," stressed the foreign minister./aa