Sudanese President Omar Hasan al-Bashir’s visit to Turkey upset many in the international community who expect Turkey to continue its work in creating an image of a moderate Muslim nation which respects human rights. Former US Ambassador to Turkey, Morton Abromowitz commented, “One would think Turkey’s leaders wold be a little more careful before laying down the red carpet to the likes of President Omas al Bashir of Sudan.” The international community regards Bashir as an illegitimate ruler who has caused the death of thousands of people in Darfur. Prime Minister’s Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party(AKP) has been trying to form close relations with Bashir, but it has run into strong opposition within the Foreign Ministry.
Ironically, in linking hands with a murderer who stands condemned before the people of the world, Prime Minister Erdogan has only weakened his case about the Armenian genocide. He denies such a genocide happened and then shakes hands with a man who is performing the same type of genocide in Darfur. A pro-Sudan policy is rather strange given the issues confronting Turkey.