The National Jewish Assembly (NJA) strongly condemns First Minister Humza Yousaf’s decision to invite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Scotland. This invitation, made during a controversial meeting at the COP28 summit in December, raises serious concerns about Mr. Yousaf’s commitment to human rights, given President Erdogan’s track record.
The NJA is deeply troubled by this invitation, as it appears hypocritical for Mr. Yousaf and the Scottish Greens, who purportedly support human rights, to extend such a welcome to a leader known for human rights abuses. President Erdogan’s treatment of the Kurdish population, support for Hamas, and suppression of political opposition and media freedom are well-documented violations of human rights.
In response to this alarming development, the NJA firmly states that advocating for human rights should not be selective. If Mr. Yousaf and the Scottish Greens genuinely uphold human rights as a core value, they should have refrained from inviting a leader with such a contentious human rights record to Scotland.
NJA Managing Director Steve Winston commented: “We are deeply disappointed by First Minister Humza Yousaf’s decision to invite President Erdogan. While we understand the importance of international engagement, it is imperative to uphold our values and principles. Inviting a leader who supports Hamas, conducts military operations against the Kurdish population, and stifles dissenting voices sends a conflicting message about our commitment to human rights and democracy.”
The NJA calls upon First Minister Humza Yousaf and the Scottish Greens to reconsider this invitation and to take a principled stance against leaders who undermine the very values they claim to champion. The NJA urges them to prioritise human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in their diplomatic engagements.