No: 25, 26 January 2018, Press Release Regarding International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 26.01.2018

January 27 was declared as “The International Holocaust Remembrance Day” by a Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005, which Turkey co-sponsored. January 27 marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp in 1945.

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember with respect over 6 million innocent people, predominantly Jews, who were exterminated in a premediated, systematic and organized way by the Nazi regime and its collaborators in Europe.

Every year on this meaningful Day, numerous ceremonies and events are organized all over the world and in Turkey. The Holocaust commemoration ceremony was organized, as in previous years by Ankara University, on 25 January 2018, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Volkan Bozkır, Chairman of the Grand National Assembly Foreign Relations Commission, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Chancellor of Ankara University, teaching staff, students, members of the diplomatic corps, Chief Rabbi of Turkey, President and members of the Turkish Jewish community were among the participants.

We are of the opinion that, humanity should derive the right lessons from the Holocaust, which stemmed from phenomena such as antisemitism, racism and extremism. We regret to observe that particularly in some Western countries, along with the rising far-right movements, racism, discrimination, antisemitism, Islamophobia, hate-speech and xenophobia have regained ground. Such trends fuelling hatred and discriminating those who are of different religion, language, race and gender, cause deep fragmentation in societies, and even worse, can easily transform into violence. Our common responsibility is to prevent the reoccurrence of such catastrophes.

With this understanding, Turkey has been participating actively in the work of the “International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance-IHRA” as an observer country and continues to work for the remembrance of the Holocaust and the right lessons to be passed on to future generations.

Turkey saved the lives of many innocent people by extending a hand to Jews escaping the Nazi persecution and opened its doors to hundreds of them. We also remember the courageous Turkish diplomats on this occasion with highest respect. Similarly today, Turkey opened its doors and has been providing protection to millions of people displaced in its region and beyond.

Uğur Kenan İpek Ambassador
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