Ankara, Turkey – “The statements used in this regard in the statement of the US Secretary of state’s visit to our country are extremely inappropriate,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said.

“The statements used in this regard in the statement of the US Secretary of state’s visit to our country are extremely inappropriate,” foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said.

Spokesman Aksoy, US Secretary of State Pompeo’s visit to Turkey on a question about the following statements:

“The US State Department announced yesterday (November 10) that Foreign Minister Pompeo will meet with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Fener in Istanbul as part of his visit, which also includes some countries in the region, and in this meeting, ’religious issues in Turkey and the region will be discussed and the strong position of the US on religious freedoms throughout the world will be emphasized’. In fact, there is no harm in visiting foreign dignitaries meeting with representatives of religious communities in the countries they visit. As a matter of fact, our foreign guests who have been visiting our country, which has been home to many different beliefs for centuries and has a special position in the world in this regard, have always met with representatives of various congregations in Turkey as they wish.

“For the United States to look in the mirror first…”

On the other hand, everyone is aware of the progress made in Turkey on religious freedoms, especially in the last 20 years. Worship and religious minorities, including Muslims in many parts of the world under adverse conditions has to fulfill under threat, while non-Muslim citizens of our country are able to comprehend the religious obligations, the citizens belonging to different faiths freedom of worship is protected. Therefore, the statements used in this regard in the statement of the US Secretary of state’s visit to our country are extremely inappropriate. However, it would be better for the United States to look in the mirror first and show the necessary sensitivity to human rights violations such as racism, hostility to Islam and hate crimes in its own country. Our response to this issue has been conveyed to the US side and it has been suggested that the US should focus primarily on increasing cooperation between our countries on regional and global issues.”