Abuja – The Muslim Rights Concern have tackled the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over his comments regarding the presence of Turkish Lll in Nigeria.
The group, in a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday said the Turkish President’s claims were baseless while adding that ISWAP and Boko Haram are the terrorists present in the country.
MURIC’s statement comes after Erdoğan claimed the terrorists who tried to carry out a coup in his country were present in Nigeria during his official visit to president Buhari on Thursday.
The statement read in part, “We take the Turkish president’s allegation that there are Turkish terrorists in Nigeria with a pinch of salt. It is false, baseless and of no consequence whatsoever.
“We are aware of the existence of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists in the country but we reject the attempt to label innocent Turkish citizens as terrorists just because there is a political difference between them and their president.
“We acknowledge Erdogan’s role as a leading mouthpiece of the Muslim world and a stout defender of Islam, particularly against Western stigmatisation. But that does not confer on him the right to label the opposition in his country as terrorists and to haunt them all over the place. Erdogan should stick to what we know him for as the unrelenting defender of world Muslims.
“Neither should Erdogan’s humongous Muslim hero image becloud nor diminish MURIC’s commitment to protecting Allah-given fundamental human rights of Muslims in Nigeria, be it, individual or group. This is where the issue of protecting the rights of members of HIzmet in Nigeria comes in.”
According to the Islamic rights group, the group Erdoğan calls terrorists are impacting the lives of Muslims in the country.
“What we know of them is that they build primary and secondary schools, universities and hospitals. They also engage in humanitarian services, assisting poor Muslims to meet religious obligations like hajj and sacrificial animals.
“They have been in this country for more than 20 years (even before Erdogan became Prime Minister) and some of the institutions established by them in Nigeria are two decades old already. A coup that allegedly occurred in Turkey five years ago while these people were still in Nigeria should not be hanged on their necks,” the statement added.