Turkish FM calls to eradicate antisemitism at Yad Vashem visit

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu wrote a message about eradicating antisemitism in Yad Vashem's guest book.

 Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tours Yad Vashem with Chairman Danny Dayan. (photo credit: JORGE NOVOMINSKY/YAD VASHEM)
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tours Yad Vashem with Chairman Danny Dayan.
(photo credit: JORGE NOVOMINSKY/YAD VASHEM)

Turkey vowed to fight antisemitism and Islamophobia, the country's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a message he wrote in the guest book of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, during his visit there on Wednesday.

"Racism and hatred of the other remain significant threats and Turkey vows to continue its fight to eradicate" them, he wrote.

This includes "hatred of Muslims" as well as all other "forms of intolerance," he wrote.

"Today at Yad Vashem, we remember the painful events of the Holocaust - a unique tragedy that created deep wounds in the conscience of mankind," the foreign minister wrote: "Never again."

Yad Vashem is a reminder of our shared responsibility to do as much as we can so that humanity will never experience such atrocities.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
 Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu attends a memorial ceremony for Holocaust victims at Yad Vashem. (credit: JORGE NOVOMINSKY/YAD VASHEM) Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu attends a memorial ceremony for Holocaust victims at Yad Vashem. (credit: JORGE NOVOMINSKY/YAD VASHEM)

He recalled the steps his country took to save Jews during the Holocaust.

"We are proud of the fact that Turkey was a safe haven for those who escaped persecution," including the actions of Turkish diplomats who "saved the lives of many Jews at the risk of their own lives," Çavuşoğlu wrote. 

"I commemorate the victims of the Holocaust who experienced cruelty from the Nazi regime and its collaborators," he added. "As a country which has had a close and warm connection to the Jewish people for many years, we express our sorrow from the bottom of our hearts."

Turkey during the war

Turkey was a neutral country during the war, but it maintained ties with Nazi Germany. In his comments, he focused on the steps his country took to save Jews but did not speak of the actions it took that allowed Jews to be deported to concentration camps.