Ankara, Sep 4 () - Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has harshly slammed the West over “insensitivity” amid the growing refugee crisis, while announcing the “joint fight against global terrorism” as a key issue to be discussed during the G-20 Summit in Turkey mid-November.
“European countries that turned the Mediterranean Sea, the cradle of the one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, into a grave, are part of the sin of the death of every single refugee” Erdoğan said Sept. 3, speaking at the opening ceremony of the B20 conference, a part of Turkey’s G-20 term presidency.
Erdoğan’s words came on the same day as a picture of the lifeless body of a three-year-old Syrian boy washed ashore on a beach in Turkey’s Bodrum district on the Aegean Sea hit headlines in national and international newspapers.
“The body of a three-year-old boy who died on a boat carrying refugees in the Mediterranean Sea washed up on our shores. Won’t humanity give an account of this three-year-old child?” the president said.
“What drowned in the sea were not only refugees, but our humanity,” Erdoğan said. “These are our values that are being drowned in the Mediterranean. Every single refugee who has become the subject of inhumane treatment on the borders, and who are even sent to death intentionally through sinking boats, is the bitter symbol of this reality.”
The president said the images of the refugees were touching the hearts of Turkish people but he had “never observed regret or conscience in the hearts of those who leave them dead.”