ANKARA 

The Turkish parliament speaker on Thursday called on humanity to walk to the future together against the novel coronavirus.

“Since the virus does not differentiate people, we have common pain and wounds. So we have to heal the wounds, walk to the future together without leaving anyone behind,” Mustafa Sentop told at the 6th parliament speakers’ meeting of MIKTA.

Established in 2013, MIKTA is an informal partnership consisting of Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, and Australia.

Sentop reminded that Turkey provided help to nearly 160 countries and 9 international organizations since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We may not be the richest country in the world, but we are proud to be the most generous in the world,” he said.

Sentop called on the world parliaments to not remain silent on the outbreak.

“During the pandemic, it was clearly revealed that health and economy are not competitors but complemental to each other. It is also clear that the parliament, which plays an important role in both health and economy politics, can not remain a spectator to this process,” he added.

Since it emerged last December, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over 1.63 million lives in 191 countries and regions.

More than 73.61 million cases have been reported worldwide, with over 41 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

While the US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries in terms of the number of cases, Europe is in the grip of a devastating second wave of infections.

The parliament speaker also said that Turkey hosts nearly 4 million Syrians, “which has hosted the highest number of refugees in the world for the last 6 years.”

“Since the beginning of the outbreak, Syrians under our protection can benefit from the health services in our country on an equal basis with our citizens,” he said.

Islamophobia accelerated during COVID-19 outbreak

Sentop noted that the coronavirus outbreak has accelerated islamophobia, racism and discrimination in the world.

“Islamophobia, which was already alarming, gained acceleration, people belonging to certain ethnic and religious minorities, immigrants and foreigners have been associated with the pandemic, furthermore, racist rhetoric, especially against Muslim and minority groups, significantly increased in this period,” Sentop said.

The discrimination towards people of Asian origin increased during the pandemic period, he reminded.

“The international community should realize the gravity of the issue as soon as possible and unite their efforts within the framework of common will to overcome this alarming problem. We should be more careful with the sensitive and vulnerable that they would not face new victimization.”

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