Turkey and the EU have worked closely together in many areas and can do so against anti-Muslim racist movements, Turkey’s communications director said Saturday.

Fahrettin Altun attended a presentation in Ankara of the European Islamophobia Report 2019 of the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) via the internet where he said the purpose of the report is not to blame anyone but to urge open and honest dialogue among friends.

He said the report made it possible for people around the world to follow the development of anti-Muslim racism in Europe and it also touched concerns of Europeans about social and political trends.

Anti-Muslim racism is not just a European problem, according to Altun, who said Muslims are either killed or injured globally as part of systematic displacement and intimidation efforts.

He drew attention to the fact that Islamophobia in Europe is getting worse every day and said there is a noticeable increase in attacks on Muslims, mosques and Islamic community centers in Europe.

“Fighting Islamophobia needs to start in Europe,” he said.

He criticized the approach of some Europeans and said countries in Europe, intellectuals and decision-makers must stop seeing Islam as a security threat and Muslims as potential criminals. European leaders should not accept anti-Muslim racism and not fulfil the demands of those on the extreme right-wing, he said, in accord with Turkey warning of a rising tide of hate ideologies in Europe, in particular Islamophobia, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism.

Turkey is ready to support EU efforts to achieve equality for Muslims and other religious communities, he said.

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