Turkey Advocates for Muslim Countries as U.N. Security Council Permanent Members

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A Turkish ambassador this week called for his country and Indonesia to be deemed permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Mahmud Erol Kilic, the Turkish ambassador to Indonesia, cited the world’s large Muslim population, as well as the alleged need to give Palestinians and other Muslims an international voice, in support of his call.

There were at least 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as of 2010, making Islam the globe’s second-largest religion after Christianity, the Pew Research Center reported.

“Indonesia has the fifth largest population in the world and is the largest Muslim country,” Kilic said in an interview with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) published on Tuesday.

“Both Turkey and Indonesia stand strongly behind Palestinian rights. The two put their hands together,” he added.

Amb. Kilic argued that the UNSC does not adequately represent the Muslim world. None of the five permanent UNSC members — China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States— have a Muslim majority. However, the Russian Federation includes nine predominantly Muslim republics like Chechnya and Dagestan.

There are also ten non-permanent members of the UNSC elected by the General Assembly of two-year terms. Some of those positions go to Muslim countries. Currently, Kuwait and Indonesia hold non-permanent member spots.

Nevertheless, AA cited the Turkish envoy as saying that Muslim countries should “seek similar rights, as enjoyed by the five permanent members (P5) of the U.N. Security Council.”

AA added:

Referring to Turkey and Indonesia’s close cooperation in defending the rights of Palestinian, he questioned the convergence of powers in just five members of the UNSC, with no say to the entire Muslim world.

Talking to Anadolu Agency, Kilic said that Muslim counties should ask for equal rights at the U.N., because of the large Muslim population in the world. Kilic noted that Palestinian groups need international level support for the recognition of their rights.

Referring to Palestine, the ambassador indicated that “Turkey and Indonesia have put out strong support, to their cause across the world.”

Considered the “collective voice” of the Islamic world, the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second-largest international body after the U.N.

The vast majority (56) of OIC members also belong to the U.N., including 47 Muslim-majority countries. According to the Pew Research Center, there are 49 predominantly Muslim countries in the world.


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