Divisive language in EU a ‘dangerous game’: Turkish FM

By Safvan Allahverdi

WASHINGTON (AA) – Turkey’s foreign minister said Monday that divisive language used by some European politicians is "a very dangerous game" that is helping to fuel the rise of extremism in Western Europe.

"We, the decision-makers and the politicians, have important responsibilities. One of the reasons for the rise of extremism in Western Europe particularly is the divisive language used by some politicians," Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a high-level meeting in New York of the UN Security Council on building and sustaining peace.

"This approach divides people along ethnic and religious lines. This is a very dangerous game," he said.

Urging politicians to refrain from creating stereotypes, he said everyone must convey positive and unifying messages to the world.

Cavusoglu said young people around the world are being targeted by radical, extremist and terrorist ideologies.

"Terrorist groups such as Daesh, Al-Qaida, the PKK, YPG and FETO (Fetullah Terrorist Organization) continue to recruit women, children and youth. We must stop this. What we need is a holistic approach," he noted, saying that radicalization and violent extremism are not limited to one particular religion, faith or community.

"This is our common challenge, and we need to face it together. Security Council Resolution 2250 is proof of the crucial role of youth in [contributing to] peace and security, and the new resolution to be adopted should provide further guidance," he said.

"We can also use the potential of existing mechanisms such as the [UN] Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), and Spain and Turkey are trying to re-energize this initiative, and we need it more than ever. We also need to create interaction between national, regional and global measures. Good practices and lessons learned in one part of the world can be employed globally. This is why we need to expand the UN’s capabilities to support member states, and we will continue to contribute to all efforts aimed at empowering the youth."

Exemplifying his country, Cavusoglu said Turkey has developed "tailor-made government structures and policies" to address the needs of its young generation, which correspond to half of the total population, as well as nearly a million Syrian youth being hosted within its borders.

Additionally, he noted that the age barrier for the young population has been lowered in order to help them join politics and take part in decision-making processes.

"We promote role models, social integration and rehabilitation programs. Education is also a key factor, and we leave no one behind and provide equal opportunities for all. We also promote dialogue among youths from different backgrounds," Cavusoglu said, adding that all the efforts are made to achieve sustainable development goals.

Cavusoglu arrived in New York on Sunday to address the UN General Assembly on Turkey’s contributions and approach to UN efforts to build and sustain peace.

He will also meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts on the meeting's sidelines and speak with Turkish and U.S. media outlets.

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