The Institute of International and Intercultural Dialogue, founded by Ozaltan Holding having investments in tourism and infrastructure, held a meeting in Berlin on March the fifth in the Commission for Federal Assembly Relations for the sake of the opening of the institute. The Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arınc and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Ozaltın Holding Nuri Ozaltın made a speech in the meeting called, “Muslim, Christian, Jewish –Peace is Possible.’ Ruphrecht Polenz, member of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Chairman of Federal Assembly Foreign Relations Commission, Yusuf Cetin, Spiritual Leader of Ancient Assyrian Community from Turkey, Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, President of Turkish-Jewish Community, Laki Vingas, member of Greek Orthodox Church and Turkish Assembly of Foundations attended the meeting. Cefi Kamhi and Denis Ojalvo were also present in the meeting.
The words of Mr. Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc attracted great attention in the meeting where Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, the President of Turkish-Jewish Society, also made a speech.
Deputy Prime Minister Arınç, spoke at the conference entitled “Muslims, Jews, Christians: Peace is Possible! Examples for Peaceful Coexistence in Past and Present – Perspectives for the Future“ organized in Berlin on 5 March 2013 by the International and Intercultural Dialogue Institute in the German Bundestag. In his response to a question, Deputy Minister Arınç had the following to say on Turkish-Jewish and Turkey-Israel relations (Source: Anatolian News Agency)
"I would like to say this to my Jewish friends; we cannot have any thought that would be against your faith. And we cannot have any words that would hurt you. In other words, we would not oppose your faith or the things which make you what you are. Nor would we make any statements that would offend you. You might say, “but this was said and that was said and we were are highly offended." My response would be this: We have a government. There is also a government in Israel. We have relations with many countries in the world. Turkey may not of course have a claim to become a global actor, but Turkey is a country that attracts more attention than ever before in global politics, in global peace, in crisis resolution. It is a country whose words are respected. All governments can criticize one another on some subjects. They can say "you are making a mistake, you are doing this and that." As the Israeli Government can easily criticize the Government in Turkey today and has done so in the past, so too we might have criticized the Government in Israel, that is to say its leaders. I believe we have done this very strongly."
Arınç indicated that Governments are criticized or appreciated according to their records and their programs. “However, you can be sure that neither our Prime Minister nor our Ministers have uttered any word against your sacred beliefs with that purpose. I personally assure you of those words. However, we have very strongly criticized some of the actions of this Israeli Government and of the previous one, and we may do so in the future. This might emanate from the fact that while we say "do not establish new settlements", they are doing just that. We might indeed criticize the Israeli Government for all that we see as its mistakes. Please do not condemn us for that. But we cannot question the reasons of Israel’s existence. We would definitely not insult what is sacred for Israel and for the Jews. I must say that what has been done till now and what we do not wish to be done, developments, depend on both sides. From now on there will not be any words or acts that would hurt you.”
Arınç also stated that Israel is an important country, however, Turkey, Germany and France are also important countries and that Turkey is aiming to keep the door for dialogue open; they wish to obtain peace and resolve problems through diplomatic means.