Photo: Anadolu Agency
Photo: Anadolu Agency

Tokyo, 23 Dhulhijjah 1436/7 October 2015 (MINA) –   Turkey’s president has kicked off a two-day official trip to Japan, using his visit to a prolific Ottoman style mosque to highlight Islam as a religion of peace.

In a visit Wednesday to Oyama cho with his wife Emine, Recep Tayyip Erdogan talked of Daesh, Turkey’s hosting of Syrian refugees, and what he said was the western world’s efforts to demonize his religion, Anadolu Agency  quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“They don’t say ‘Christian terrorism’ or ‘Jewish terrorism,’ they only say ‘Islamic terror’,” he told reporters. “I believe Islam’s call of peace will gain more recognition as it orders to build a world without any war.”

He underlined that Daesh — a multinational terror group that has overrun vast area of both Iraq and Syria — “overshadows” Islam’s beauty.

“What Daesh is doing has absolutely no relation with Islam,” Erdogan said.

Since Turkey opened its doors to those fleeing Daesh, it has become a sanctuary for 2.5 million refugees – 2.2 million from Syria and a further 300,000 fleeing Iraq.

“Are there any countries or continents in the world that does what we are doing right now?” he asked.

“We are doing this as our humanitarian duty. Until now, we spent $7.8 billion and we will continue to do what we have to do.”

Erdogan was greeted at the mosque – which has an adjoining Turkish culture center – by Imam Muhammed Rasit Alas.

Also known as “Tokyo Camii,” it was completed in 1938 by a Turkish community from Kazan (Russia), but fell into disrepair. A major reconstruction was then completed by Turkish architect Muharrem Hilmi Senalp in 2000 with help from the Tokyo Turkish Association.

Writing in the memory book as he left, Erdogan described the mosque as “the most beautiful symbol of Turkey and Japan’s brotherhood and friendship.”

During his visit, Erdogan will meet with Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and attend a meeting coordinated by the host country and the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey. (T/P010/R07)

>Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)