Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized President Barack Obama for his silence over the murder of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said politicians were responsible for events in their countries and had to clarify their stance over them.
More than 5,000 people attended the funeral of the students who were shot dead in Chapel Hill on February 10.
With a suspect in custody, police are still investigating the motive, amid family claims it was a hate crime.
Initial indications are that the gunman, Craig Hicks, acted in a dispute with the victims over a parking space, according to the police.
However, at next day’s funeral, the local police chief said his force would investigate every lead, including the possibility of a hate crime.
The murders have resonated both within US and around the world, especially on social media. The hashtag ChapelHillShooting has been used hundreds of thousands of times.
Speaking on a visit to Mexico, Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice-President Joe Biden for not having made any statement about the murder of the “three Muslims”.
“If you stay silent when faced with an incident like this, and don’t make a statement, the world will stay silent towards you,” he said.
“As politicians, we are responsible for everything that happens in our countries and we have to show our positions.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a devout Sunni Muslim who has been increasingly critical of the treatment of Muslims living in Western societies.
His relations with the Obama administration have also come under strain over the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
Turkey and the US are allies in the campaign against Islamic State militants, but differences over tactics have emerged over the last six months.
Thursday’s funeral was held at the athletic fields of North Carolina State University where all three victims had been students. Police estimate 5,500 people attended the event.
Craig Hicks gave himself up to police and has been charged with the murders. His Facebook profile included a photo that read “Atheists for Equality”. He also frequently posted quotes critical of religion.
However, his wife, Karen Hicks, said the incident had nothing to do with religion and her husband treated everyone equally. He also apparently had a history of conflicts with neighbors over parking spaces.
Deah Shaddy Barakat was a dental student at the university and his wife was planning to enroll in the school in the next term.
There has been criticism of a perceived lack of coverage in the mainstream media with the hashtag MuslimLivesMatter mentioned almost 100,000 times in the day following the shooting.
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