Turkey’s economic growth best response to critics, Erdogan says


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday that Turkey’s rising economic growth rate would silence those who want to portray it as a weak state.

Speaking at an event marking the World Human Rights Day in capital Ankara, Erdoğan referred to Turkey’s 11.1 percent growth rate in the third quarter of 2017.

Turkey became the fastest growing economy among G20 countries after boasting an 11.1 percent growth in the third quarter of 2017, according to a Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) report released Monday.

“This growth rate is the best response to those who try to portray Turkey as a weak country.”

Erdoğan added that Turkey aimed to reach at least 7 percent of economic growth by the end of the year.

The president also addressed the issue of Jerusalem, saying: “Those who make life in Jerusalem difficult for Muslims and the followers of other faiths, will not be able to wash the blood from their hands. It’s not possible that the vandalism, persecution and rudeness shown in Jerusalem continue forever.”

“Those who think themselves the owners of Jerusalem today will not be able to eben find a tree to hide behind tomorrow,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan once again criticized the U.S. move to consider Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and reiterated that Turkey did not recognize the decision: “[U.S. President Donald] Trump’s statement is not binding for us, for Jerusalem and for the Islamic world.”

“This fight will not end until a sovereign and independent Palestinian state is established with eastern Jerusalem as its capital city and with the borders of 1967.”

Erdoğan criticized U.S. and European policies that, he says, support Israel’s unlawful occupation of land.

Last week, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem policy triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and other Muslim countries.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — now occupied by Israel — might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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