Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week accused the terror group the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) and the Taliban are directly to blame for the rise and spread of Islamophobia throughout the world.
Drawing upon the recent devastating attacks from the Taliban on schoolchildren in Peshawar, Pakistan, Erdogan said “There is no such Islam. Islam is peace. You are casting a shadow on Islam,” according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News. He continued, “Islamophobia in the world started because of you,” adding his hope that the “painful incident [in Peshawar] will lead some countries in the region and the whole world once more to see the dark face of terror.”
Last year, the Turkish government hosted an “International Conference on Islamophobia” where Sharia Law was promoted.
This past November, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei took a similar stance to Erodgan, but drove his message home even further and said what Erdogan could not. Khamanei said the West created ISIS in order to help purport the spread of Islamophobia. Turkey and the United States are allied but suffer from a highly-volatile relationship.
Iran and Turkey are very much aligned and their diplomatic relations have been generally peaceful. Bilateral trade between the two nations has increased exponentially since 2000, culminating with over $15 billion in trade between the two as of this year.
Despite having significantly less exports to Iran than they import from them, Turkey partially makes up for that imbalance with their tourism services. However, that is not nearly enough to offset the large deficit which Turkey’s Former Minister of Economic Affairs likened to a “drug addiction.”
Adelle Nazarian is on Twitter @AdelleNaz.