Western countries lecturing others on human rights have failed the basic human rights exam, said Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday on the sidelines of G20 summit in Japan, referring to the global response to the Syrian refugee crisis.
“Turkey has welcomed millions of people escaping the Syrian conflict since 2011, spending over $37 billion worth or resources for them. Syria’s neighbors, like us and Jordan, have been left alone to shoulder the burden of refugees. I urge the international community to share this burden so that we can maintain our assistance and help to refugees,” Erdoğan said.
He said the developed Western countries who lecture others about human rights had failed as humanitarians in the Syrian conflict.
“As long as conscience and empathy-based policies are not preferred over prejudices against refugees, more toddlers will die at sea,” he said, referring to Aylan Kurdi — the three-year-old Syrian toddler, who drowned on the coast of Bodrum in 2015 while trying to cross to Europe.
Answering a question about possible sanctions over the S-400 row with U.S., Erdoğan said that he heard from Trump that there would be no U.S. sanctions over the deal.
“I also don’t think it would be appropriate for two strategic partners to impose such measures against each other,” he added.
Erdoğan also said that Turkey expected the delivery of F-35 stealth fighter jets from the U.S., despite the dispute over the S-400 deal.
He added that the Russian systems would be delivered in the first half of July.
Touching on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist and prominent Saudi critic who died inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Erdoğan said that the international community had a responsibility to shed light on all aspects of the murder.
“The crime was committed in Istanbul, the trial should take place in Turkey,” Erdoğan asserted.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must uncover the killers of Khashoggi, he said, adding that some aspects of the murder were still being hidden.
The Turkish president said there was “no point in looking for perpetrators elsewhere” as it was evident that a 15-person team that arrived in Istanbul before the killing were responsible for the murder.
The president also added that all aspects of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s death must also be investigated.
Morsi, a leading member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, won Egypt’s first free presidential election in 2012. After only a year in office, however, he was ousted and imprisoned in a military coup led by then-Defense Minister el-Sissi.
“The statements from the [Egyptian] putschists are far from satisfying,” he said, adding Morsi was not given any medical help for half an hour when he collapsed during his trial.
Erdoğan said shedding light on Morsi’s death was of huge importance for the sake of democracy and politics worldwide.