Statement by Turkey at the Commemorative Event for the Victims of the Easter Sunday Attacks in Sri Lanka

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 03.05.2019
Madam President,

I would like to thank you and the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka for convening this commemorative event.

I wish to reiterate our heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences to the families of the innocent victims who were brutally murdered in the dastardly terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, most of them in their sacred places of worship. As one of the countries whose citizens were among the victims, we stand in full solidarity with the people and the government of Sri Lanka and share their pain and grief wholeheartedly.

We strongly condemn these heinous terrorist attacks. We see them no different from the attacks on Muslim worshippers in New Zealand and the attack on a synagogue in San Diego last weekend.

Madam President,

One month ago, on 2nd of April, we gathered in this hall and adopted the General Assembly resolution 73/285. Its message was universal.

With the adoption of the resolution by consensus, we, the members of the United Nations delivered a message in unity and solidarity that all sorts of discrimination and terrorism are global threats. We declared that discrimination against human beings on the grounds of religion or belief constitutes an affront to human dignity and expressed our condemnation of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia. And we pledged to combine our efforts against these menaces, without surrendering to pessimism.

Madam President,

The goal of all terrorists/extremists is to spread fear and divide our societies along the lines that they choose. We should not fall into this trap.

The spread of political rhetoric targeting ethnic and religious minorities and migrant communities have become more visible. Unfortunately, reason is in eclipse.

The dark forces of intolerance, religious hatred, racial discrimination and xenophobia are on the rise. They constitute serious threats to the universal values that we all cherish.

These trends cannot be ignored. No form of racism, be it hatred against Muslims, hatred against Christians or anti-Semitism, shall be tolerated in any way, in any form, explicitly or silently.

Embracing pluralism, upholding tolerance and cherishing diversity are key to peaceful and inclusive societies.

The UN Alliance of Civilizations plays an important role towards this end. It remains one of the most prominent peace initiatives of our times. It aims to alleviate tensions among and within societies, with a view to creating a basis for a harmonious and peaceful living together.

In this context, we welcome and support the call of the Secretary General to the UN Alliance of Civilizations to develop an Action Plan to prevent attacks against and guarantee the sanctity of religious sites.

Madam President,
Distinguished colleagues,

In closing, I would like to reiterate Turkey’s resolve and readiness to work with all of you to promote a culture of peace and tolerance and at the same time combat in determination terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Thank you.