The PJ Tatler

Turkey's President: Sure, ISIS is a Problem. But You Know What the Real Problem Is?

“Islamophobia.” That, says Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is the real problem. It’s to blame for everything.

He said extremist groups like IS, responsible for beheading prisoners, enslaving captives, and promising to wipe out religious minorities like Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, are a consequence of “the rise of Islamophobia” in the West.

“Those who feel defeated, wronged, oppressed and abandoned… can become open to being exploited by terror organizations,” the Turkish leader said.

While the Pope called for conciliation and dialogue, President Erdogan took a swipe at the West, blaming it for many of the problems in the Middle East.

On Thursday Erdogan said “foreigners” do not like Muslims and are only interested in exploiting the Middle East’s natural resources.

“Foreigners love oil, gold, diamonds and the cheap labor force of the Islamic world. They like the conflicts, fights and quarrels of the Middle East. Believe me, they don’t like us. They look like friends, but they want us dead, they like seeing our children die,” said Erdogan, whose abrasive style confounds the West but has endeared him to millions of Muslims, not just in Turkey but across the Middle East.

The president repeated his complaint about growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the West when the Pope turned up at his sprawling palace on Friday.

Erdogan told Francis that there was a “very serious and rapid trend of growth in racism, discrimination, and hatred of others, especially Islamophobia in the West.”

The Western media and left are feeding an Islamist his anti-Western talking points now.

Erdogan is signaling many things with these comments, among them, that his support in the Russia vs. America contest is up for grabs. He is lending token support for fighting ISIS, allowing the US to use Turkish bases for drones but little else, but he is also telling Putin that he can pivot away from the US and from NATO, of which Turkey is a key member, and become neutral to Moscow-leaning.

Should the EU decide against Turkey’s membership, Erdogan could join Moscow outright.