Erdogan should not be inciting hatred

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks on as he addresses his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) local election rally at Istanbul's Kasimpasa district, on March 5, 2019.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks on as he addresses his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) local election rally at Istanbul's Kasimpasa district, on March 5, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

The international community must hold Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accountable for claiming that the mass shooting at the Christchurch mosque is an assault on Turkey and Islam (NZ sends DPM to Turkey to 'set record straight', March 21).

A terrorist, regardless of nationality or religion, is a coward, motivated by wayward ideology, who commits heinous acts to kill innocent people, in the hope of achieving revenge or martyrdom.

Hence, he must be condemned.

Similarly, people who politicise terrorist acts in order to win votes and, in the process, irresponsibly stoke tension and incite hate, deserve condemnation too.

Disappointingly, except for New Zealand and Australia, of which direct reference was made, other countries have been silent on Mr Erdogan's tactics.

Turkey was the target of several Muslim terrorist attacks in recent times.

Like many other countries, it was not spared acts of terrorism.

Consequently, it should do the right and noble thing by banding with all other countries to wipe out terrorism from the earth, instead of encouraging revenge.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2019, with the headline 'Erdogan should not be inciting hatred'. Print Edition | Subscribe