STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. AHMET DAVUTOĞLU, PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY AT THE LEADERS’ SUMMIT ON COUNTERING ISIL AND VIOLENT EXTREMISM
H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu 29.09.2015
Mr. Secretary General,
I add my voice to the words of appreciation and thanks to President Obama, for this much timely initiative, especially when New York is the beating heart of the international public opinion.
My country, having been the victim of terrorism since early 1970’s, knows only too well that terrorism is an ugly instrument of illegitimate politics.
In the course of this year only, we have been targeted by three terrorist groups with different ideologies, namely DAESH, PKK and DHKP/C.
In late July DAESH attacked civilians in Turkey, killed 32 citizens and some security personnel on the border. This was immediately followed by PKK attacks, almost in a simultaneous manner with DAESH and in those attacks we lost even more innocent civilians and security personnel. PKK’s concomitant attacks with DAESH place a multiplying role on the impact of terrorist threat in our region. Terrorism has no religion, ethnicity or geography. Terrorist ideology exploiting religion is no different from terrorism exploiting race and ethnicity. There is no difference between DAESH and PKK and other terrorist organizations. Our friends and partners, all of us must be vigilant. We want our partners and friends to support Turkey in its fight against all type of terrorism. Terrorist organizations cannot acquire legitimacy by fighting against other terrorist organizations.
Mr. President, Dear Colleagues,
No child is born to be a killer or a terrorist.
The process of radicalization and crossing the not-so-very-thin line of supporting use of violence for political purposes is indeed a complex matter.
As governments, our responsibility to protect our nations against the fear and violence from terrorism also include protection of our sons and daughters from the extremist ideologies and terrorist masterminds.
Due to globalization and the impact of social media on transformation, today the extremist ideologies are viral and the repercussions are global.
But nevertheless the process of radicalization itself involves very personal and local elements.
Thus, for every country, society and even community, we need to develop context specific measures.
In that respect, we welcome the Strong Cities Network, where Turkey is represented by the city of Antalya.
Building resilience against violent extremism requires long term and indiscriminate policies involving whole of government and whole of society.
Patience, insight, coordination, consistency and determination are key words.
An integral part of our countering violent extremism agenda should be to avoid new dividing lines in our societies.
We must pay utmost attention to ensure that violent extremism is not attributed to any ethnic, religious or sectarian group.
Turkey, as the co-chair of Global Counter Terrorism Forum and separately, as the co-chair of Anti-DAESH Coalition Working Group on Foreign Terrorist Fighters, has been contributing to the debate on countering violent extremism.
Unprecedented threat emanating from foreign terrorist fighters in the past few years has only confirmed what we feared.
Some of these young men and women who have joined DAESH from the very heart of Europe or from countries with predominantly Muslim population, are neither poor, nor uneducated nor had problems of integration.
Yet they end up in the ranks of this vicious terrorist group together with the fringe clusters of petty criminals or sociopaths.
Our work in Anti-DAESH Coalition working group, Global Counter Terrorism Forum or in other fora should thus be focusing on pull factors as well as push factors.
In the no-entry list that my Government has introduced against foreign terrorist fighters since 2011, we have now recorded down almost 20.000 names from over 100 countries.
Moreover, thanks to the efforts of our Risk Analysis Groups, more than 1000 suspicious travelers were denied entry to Turkey at airports.
As such, we prevented a considerable number of foreign terrorist fighters from reaching to conflict zones.
Only in 2015, we have deported more than 1000 foreign nationals with suspicious previous presence in conflict zones in Syria and in Iraq.
I want to speak aloud. To tackle this problem, we need to act together.
Without proper and timely sharing of intelligence and in the absence of measures to address the grievances of young people in host countries, we, as a whole, will fail in this quest.
Our efforts to dismantle networks of recruitment, propaganda and finance of terrorist groups should continue.
On the other hand, let us not deceive ourselves: While the foreign terrorist fighters phenomena has made the threat more visible, it is just part of the problem.
There is no terrorist group, including DAESH, Al Nusra or others that is solely formed by foreign terrorist fighters.
We cannot ignore the impact of unresolved conflicts, mismanaged crises, mass displacements and gaps of human security, intolerance, discrimination, racism and xenophobia and Islamophobia as factors that prepare the ground for violent extremism.
Syria is a case in point. Failure to address the root cause emanating from the heinous and murderer regime created a vacuum filled by DAESH, which turned into a pull factor for foreign terrorist fighters from across the world.
As the international community, the best narrative that we have in our disposal against violent extremist abuse is our ability to deliver peace, stability, welfare and justice.
We need to ensure that our deeds meet our commitments and our actions do not fall far from our values.