Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told an audience in Chile that the Daesh group, which declared a so-called Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria in 2014, has “nothing to do with Islam”.
"Islam never allows terrorism; this is one. Secondly, Islam and terror cannot be mentioned together. Third, Daesh is a terror organization and it has nothing to do with Islam," Erdogan said during an address to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile.
The Turkish leader is currently on a tour of Latin American states.
Erdogan said that those who linked Islam and terrorism were giving support and courage to terrorist organizations.
“On the contrary, Daesh is harming Islam with what it does,” said Erdogan, warning that the approach of associating terror with a religion or an ethnic group empowered xenophobia and racism which he described as a “disgrace [in] the history of humanity”.
The president turned to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
"Even though the refugee crisis seems like a regional issue, in fact, it is a global one. The European countries watching the incidents from outside yesterday are today deeply experiencing the refugee crisis … inside," Erdogan said.
"Now, they [the European countries] began to shout, saying: 'They do not come to us'. Well, what should Turkey, where 2.5 million people are sheltered, do?" Erdogan asked.
Erdogan said Turkey had spent over $9 billion for refugees and just received $420 million from the international community.
"But, Turkey does not care whether we receive aid or not. It has not closed its gates to anyone; whoever comes, Turkey did not look at their race, religion and language, and opened its doors," Erdogan added.
Chile's Minister of Foreign Affairs Heraldo Munoz praised Turkey over its efforts in hosting millions of refugees.
"I am saying not only in the name of Chile, but also that of Latin America; we are watching the support Turkey gives to refugees with admiration," Munoz said.