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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Turkey's Erdogan chides Obama for silence on Muslim Chapel Hill murders

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has criticized US President Barack Obama for his silence following the killings of three young Muslims in North Carolina this week.

Turkey, a European Union candidate nation and member of the NATO military alliance, is a key US ally in the fight against Islamic jihadists. But Erdogan, a devout Sunni Muslim, has become increasingly outspoken about what he sees as rising Islamophobia in the West.

Three Muslims were shot dead on Tuesday near the University of North Carolina campus in an incident police said was possibly a hate crime. The White House said yesterday it would await the results of the police investigation before commenting.

Speaking alongside Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto during a state visit to Latin America's No. 2 economy, Erdogan said the silence of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry was "telling" and they should take a position following such acts.

"If you stay silent when faced with an incident like this, and don't make a statement, the world will stay silent towards you," Erdogan said, condemning those responsible for the shootings.

Despite working together to combat the Islamic State, differences have arisen between the United States and Turkey over how best to tackle the insurgents.

On Wednesday, Obama sent Congress his long-awaited formal request to authorize military force against Islamic State, which covers the next three years and bars any large-scale invasion by US ground troops.

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Tags:  Syria  Islamic State  US  Chapel Hill  Obama  





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