Today’s Zaman reports:
Turkish President Abdullah Gül has called on European leaders to stick to values such as democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, which originated from the continent of Europe, as he warned that populist tendencies among European leaders towards migration triggered the radicalization of immigrant societies.
Delivering a speech at the third Global Policy Forum held in the central Russian city of Yaroslavl, Gül said the values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, although having originated in Europe, had a global impact.
“The Arab Spring that began with the demand of the people for democratic transformation is the latest manifestation of this impact. One expects a decline in discriminatory treatment as the world experiences these developments and the emergence of a common cultural understanding for mankind, but we unfortunately continue to witness the strengthening of extremist views that consider differences as a reason for conflict in various parts of the world,” Gül said at the forum, to which he had been invited as guest of honor. The forum was held under the auspices of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. This year’s forum, titled “The Modern State in the Age of Social Diversity,” focused on issues democracies face in the present-day social diversity such as the correlation of economic efficiency and social equality, the balance between innovation and tradition, maintaining global security and personal freedoms.
“The existence of these movements on the European continent, which presented the world with the notions of democracy and the modern state, is food for thought. Racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia that fester contemporaneously with the economic crisis affecting Europe give rise to serious concern. Parties that point at migrants as the source of problems such as security, crime, poverty and other social difficulties gain more votes.
“The reaction by governments and main political parties that introduce stricter measures on migration in order to counter this fear by the people is also worrying. Rising intolerance and discrimination becomes a trigger for radicalization,” Gül said.
The July 22 terrorist attacks in which a right-wing extremist killed 77 people and rocked the foundations of Norway’s democratic society, which places high value on openness and civil rights, was one example used by Gül to better explain his point.