Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced over the weekend that he intends to refer to the Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq as "Daesh," the Arabic acronym of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – and not as Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL, local media reported.
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Speaking during a visit to France, Erdogan said the extremist groups is trying "to show Islam as a [terrorist] organization. First of all, Islam is derived from a word which means peace. A religion that means peace cannot tolerate terrorism."
Erdogan added: "Be careful; I am not using ISIL, I am using Daesh as they are a terrorist group.” The Islamic organization sees the acronym as derogatory and offensive.
Turkey is not the first country to decide to use the acronym Daesh, which is Arabic for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Last September, France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said people should stop referring to extremists in Iraq and Syria as the Islamic State, arguing that they do not represent Islam or a state.
"This is a terrorist group and not a state," Fabius said. "I do not recommend using the term Islamic State, because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists."
Egypt's top Islamic authority also argues the group should not be called Islamic State.