UPDATE 3 – Erdogan: UNSC 'standing idle to oppressions in world'


By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – The UN Security Council currently serves the interests of five permanent members holding veto rights, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.

The five members of the Council, the U.S, Russia, China, France and Britain, are “standing idle to the oppressions in other parts of the world," Erdogan said in his address to the 73rd session of UN General Assembly.

The Turkish president has long advocated for reforming the structure of the Security Council, pushing the motto, "The world is bigger than five."

Erdogan said the UN has carried out work and achieved considerable successes over its 73-year history.

"However, it is also a fact that over time the United Nations moved away from meeting the expectations of humanity for peace and welfare," he added.

Erdogan said past "massacres" in Bosnia, Rwanda and Somalia, recent ones in Myanmar and ongoing ones in Palestine, have all taken place before the eyes of the Security Council.

"Those who do not raise their voices against the oppression of the Palestinians, their efforts even to reduce assistance for them, are only increasing the courage of the oppressors," he added, referring to the recent U.S. decision to cut aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

Turkey will continue to stand with the "oppressed" Palestinians and will protect the historical and legal status of Jerusalem, Erdogan said.

He underscored there needs to be "comprehensive reform" in the structure and functioning of the UN, particularly the Security Council.

– 'World bigger than 5'

"And we believe that when we say ‘the world is bigger than five,’ we become the voice of the common conscience of humanity," Erdogan said.

Limiting the reform of the UN to the budget only will neither contribute to the solution of real problems nor make anybody happy, he said.

The president added there is a need for increasing UN efficiency "which I find very important for the future of the world, on its fundamental areas of duty which are security, development and social equality."

"When the assets of the wealthiest 62 people in the world amount to the assets of the half of world’s population of 3.6 billion people, this means there is a problem," Erdogan said.

He called for establishing a new global system at the UN that will be the voice of implementer of humankind’s expectation for justice.

– 'More abundant, flexible support'

Erdogan said Turkey continues its efforts towards a fairer world while implementing a global humanitarian diplomacy.

He recalled that Turkey hosts 4 million refugees, 3.5 million of which are Syrian, and provides them with services that are "incomparable" elsewhere in the world.

The total amount Turkey has spent for Syrian refugees alone is at $32 billion.

"However, so far, the external support we have received is $600 million from international organizations and €1.7 billion from the EU until now," Erdogan said.

Erdogan said he expects "more abundant and flexible support" for Turkey, which has prevented a large refugee influx to spill over elsewhere in the world, foremost to Europe, thanks to the opportunities the country has provided to refugees.

– Turkey's efforts within UN

Erdogan said Turkey has contributed substantially to UN in regards to the Gulf crisis, people in Arakan (northern Rakhine State, Myanmar), racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia and also Syria.

He said Turkey tries to make Syria a peaceful country again by means of support for Geneva and Astana talks that aim to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.

"By clearing the Jarabulus and al-Rai regions from Daesh, and Afrin region from PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organizations, we have turned an area of 4,000 kilometers [2,485 miles] into a safe and peaceful place for millions of Syrians," Erdogan said.

He added Turkey has prevented the Bashar al-Assad regime's "bloody assaults" against the deescalation area in Idlib with Sochi deal signed with Russia.

"I call on all the parties to support a just and sustainable political solution in Syria with a constructive approach. We wish to see a principled approach against terrorist organizations.

Hinting at U.S. support for PYD/YPG, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terror organization, Erdogan said: "Those who equip terrorists with tens of thousands of trucks and thousands of cargo planes load of arms for the sake of their tactical interests will most definitely feel sorrow in the future."

– FETO 'exports terror to world'

Erdogan said all terrorist organizations do not obtain their power from their armed actions, rather some hide behind "glossy concepts" such as education, welfare and dialogue, and continues operations as NGOs or businesses.

"Through the support of our people to our resolute struggle over the last five years, we have eliminated the majority of FETO [terrorist organization] in our country.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen are accused of orchestrating the defeated coup July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

He said countries have heeded Turkey’s warnings and learned from its lessons and are deciphering the organization and expelling it from their lands. However, some states, including the U.S. and European countries, "have not understood the danger".

"For instance, the amount of funds that the FETO terrorist organization receives in 27 U.S. states from the government budget solely by charter schools is $763 million," he added.

Erdogan said FETO leader Gulen "exports terror" to 160 countries from his residence in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and urged world nations to be watchful and take action against the terror group.

– Turkey backs constructive dialogue

Erdogan said trade wars have harmed humanity in every period.

"None of us can remain silent to the arbitrary cancellation of commercial agreements, the spreading prevalence of protectionism and the use of economic sanctions as weapons.

"The negative effects of these twisted developments will eventually affect all countries," he added.

The president called on countries to work together to prevent damage to the world trade regime as a result of such unilateral decisions.

"Today, some countries are persistently trying to create chaos. There is no bigger danger than a world order that has lost mercy, conscience, truth and hope," Erdogan added.

Turkey is in favor of solving problems through conducting a constructive dialogue on equal terms and expects responsible action in matters of economy, he said.

And he called for an institution within the UN for the youth.

"As Turkey, we propose establishing a UN Youth Organization as soon as possible and suggest Istanbul, one of the symbolic cities of the world history, as its headquarters," he added.