Facebook’s Zuckerberg Earned Erdogan’s ‘Like’ by Defending Muslims

© AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis, FileTurkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - Sputnik International
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan commended Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for drawing a line between terrorism and Islam.

Erdogan used to be scornful of popular social networking websites, and once even threatened to ban Facebook in Turkey, claiming that his rivals used the platform to attack him.

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The ban didn't happen, and it seems the Turkish president has considerably changed his tune since that time.

He's been using it more often lately for official statements, and on Thursday he even praised the site's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, for offering support to Muslims.

In a recent post, following a proposal by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to ban all Muslims from entering the US, Zuckerberg stressed that Muslims shouldn't be discriminated against for their religious views, adding that it is wrong to punish innocent people for terrorist attacks carried out by extremists.  

"If you're a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you," Zuckerberg wrote.

I want to add my voice in support of Muslims in our community and around the world.After the Paris attacks and hate…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Turkish president didn't hesitate to express his appreciation to Zuckerberg on his official Facebook page, both in Turkish and in English.

"I highly value Mark Zuckerberg's message for pointing out the profound difference between Islam and terrorism since these two concepts are often mentioned in the same breath these days," the president wrote.

"As I always express on different platforms, Islam is a religion of peace. Murderous networks that abuse Islam for their self-serving goals are massacring innocent people every day, particularly Muslims."

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Prior to local elections in 2014, the Turkish government actually blocked Twitter and YouTube after they were used to spread audio recordings entangling Erdogan and his associates in a corruption scandal. The recordings included a phone conversation in which he and his son allegedly discussed ways to hide huge sums of money.

Erdogan started tweeting from the official handle @RT_Erdogan in February and is now a regular user of his social network pages.

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