Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Umit Bektas)
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called Zionism a "crime against
humanity" likening it with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Islamophobia while speaking at a UN forum on Wednesday.
Erdogan was speaking Wednesday before a Vienna forum of the Alliance of
Civilizations, a UN framework for West-Islam dialogue.
urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon who was present on the stage yet stayed
silent, according to UN Watch, to speak out and condemn the speech. It also called on Erdogan to apologize.
secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that his predecessor Kofi Annan recognized
that the UN's 1975 Zionism-is-racism resolution was an expression of
anti-Semitism, and he welcomed its repeal," UN Watch stated.
its condemnation of Erdogan's remarks which it called "Ahmedinejad-style
pronouncements," UN Watch stated that the remarks "will only strengthen
the belief that his government is hewing to a confrontational stance,
and fundamentally unwilling to end its four-year-old feud with Israel."
sent messages to Ankara over the last two weeks that it is interested
in creating a more “positive dynamic” in its badly strained relationship
with Turkey so the two countries can work together to further common
interests, government officials said on Monday.
The messages were
sent prior to John Kerry’s maiden trip abroad as US secretary of state,
a trip that will take him to nine countries including Turkey. Kerry is
scheduled to arrive in Turkey on Friday.
It is widely expected that Kerry will raise the issue of ties with Israel during his talks with Turkish leaders in Ankara.
US has long been pressing both Ankara and Jerusalem to take steps to
improve relations that went into a nosedive following the 2010 Mavi
Marmara incident.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.