No: 100, 15 March 2021, Press Release Regarding 15 March International Day To Combat Islamophobia

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 15.03.2021

On the occasion of second anniversary of the terrorist attack perpetrated in Christchurch/New Zealand on 15 March 2019, we commemorate with respect and mercy those 51 people who lost their lives, including one Turkish citizen.

Turkey plays a leading role in combatting Islamophobia and intolerance at international fora and supports the efforts of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at this direction. To this end, the OIC Contact Group on Muslims in Europe was established upon Turkey’s initiative.

Following the terror attack in New Zealand, the Open Ended Emergency Meeting of the OIC Executive Committee was held on 22 March 2019 in İstanbul at the level of Foreign Ministers upon Turkey’s call in her capacity as the then-OIC Summit Chair. On that occasion a call was made for raising international awareness on combatting Islamophobia.

Within this understanding, a resolution was adopted at the OIC 47th Council of Foreign Ministers held in Niamey on 27-28 November 2020 to designate 15 March as the “International Day to Combat Islamophobia”. In line with this resolution, a high-level virtual event will be held with the initiative of the OIC Group at the UN on 17 March 2021 to raise international awareness on combatting Islamophobia. H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs will participate in this event with a video message.

Turkey’s active efforts and initiatives will continue with a view to keeping the fight against Islamophobia high on the agenda of international and regional organizations, in particular the UN.

In addition, within the framework of a study initiated by our Ministry, annual reports on the countries where anti-Islamic, xenophobic and racist acts and discourses take place will be prepared and shared with international public opinion.

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