UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he would launch events in Gaza, where scores of Palestinian protesters were killed this week by Israeli troops at the UN General Assembly.
The Turkish president strongly criticized Washington’s decision to transfer its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and the violence that followed the opening of the new embassy and sharply criticized the United States and the United Nations for the killing of dozens of protesters in the sector.
Erdogan described Israel as a “terrorist state” and accused it of using methods similar to Nazi methods. Turkey declared mourning three days after the events in Gaza. Erdogan called for an emergency summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
“Israel must be held accountable before international law for the innocents who massacred them,” he said in his opening speech at the Istanbul summit. We will pursue that issue in the United Nations General Assembly as well.”
“Unfortunately, any step taken in the way of justice is prevented by the US leadership in the Security Council,” he said.
In an escalation of his criticism of Israel’s actions, Erdogan likened the Palestinians to the suffering suffered by Jews in Nazi torture camps.
“The children of those who were subjected to all kinds of torture in the Nazi camps during the Second World War are now attacking the Palestinians in ways that are ashamed of the Nazis,” he said.
The events in Gaza also sparked a diplomatic row between Turkey and Israel, where countries exchanged the expulsion of senior diplomats this week.
The suffering of the Palestinians has resonated with many Turks, especially nationalists and religious people, who form the base of support for Erdogan, who is running again in the presidential elections next month.
– Islamic solidarity –
Earlier on Friday, Erdogan, in front of a crowd of thousands of supporters who waved Palestinian and Turkish flags in Istanbul’s Yenikapi neighborhood, called on Muslims to unite and said the United Nations had lost legitimacy for its failure to stand up to Washington.
“If the Islamic world stands united in the face of brutality in Gaza, Israel’s recklessness will not continue,” he said.
“The United Nations, which failed to take effective steps against the United States, has suffered yet another blow to its already shaky legitimacy.”
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah told the crowd that the world must act. “I call upon the international community to intervene immediately and urgently to protect our people and hold the occupation accountable for its practices,” he said.
Despite the sharp tone of the rhetoric, IMF statistics show that Israel was the 10th largest market for Turkish exports in 2017, buying goods worth about $ 3.4 billion.
“We have excellent economic relations with Turkey,” Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahalon told Israel Radio on Friday in response to a question on whether Israel should sever ties with Turkey. These relations are very important to both sides.”
US President Donald Trump’s decision to transfer the embassy ends a decades-old US policy that has angered the Arab world and Western allies.
Turkey called on Islamic countries to prevent other countries from following the example of the United States and opening embassies in Jerusalem. Guatemala became the second nation to take its embassy to the holy city this week, while Paraguay said it would follow suit this month.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Friday called on Islamic countries to “sever their relations completely with the Zionist entity (Israel) and also to reconsider their trade and economic relations with America.”
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein, said on Friday that Israel systematically deprives Palestinians of their human rights and that 1.9 million people in Gaza “are imprisoned in poisonous slums from birth to death.”