Statement By Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representatıve Of Turkey, On The Internatıonal Remembrance Day For The Vıctıms Of The Holocaust (939th Meetıng Of The Permanent Councıl)

Tacan İLDEM 31.01.2013
Thank you Mr. Chairperson.

Like in previous years, I would like to join others in commemorating the millions of Jews and members of other minorities who lost their lives during the Second World War.

Remembering the victims of the Holocaust, which was systematically carried out with the intention to annihilate the Jewish race, is important in order to raise awareness of future generations on this darkest page of human history.

The Remembrance Day for the Victims of the Holocaust designated by the United Nations falls this year on the 68th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp. Turkey contributes to the Fund of the Auschwitz-Birkenau International Museum, established with the aim of physically remembering this tragedy. Turkey is also represented in the Executive Board of International Committee which manages this fund.

Many Turkish citizens, the majority of whom were of Jewish origin, also died in the Holocaust. We respectfully remember them as well. In this context, a commemorative plaque, dedicated to the Jewish and non-Jewish Turkish citizens who were murdered in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, was inaugurated with a ceremony last December with the participation of the Turkish Ambassador to Berlin and the German authorities.

This year, as in the previous two years, an official ceremony organized by the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey and the Turkish Jewish community was conducted at the Etz Ahayim Synagogue in Istanbul on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

As we honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, we also recall with gratitude the brave Turkish diplomats who saved the lives of many Jews during World War II.

We believe it is necessary to draw the required lessons from the heinous crime of the Shoah, so that similar events can never be repeated in the future. In this context, Turkey will continue to resolutely pursue her principled stance on the prevention of anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, discrimination and Islamophobia.

Thank you Mr. Chairperson.