Denying the existence and rights of Palestinians will not bring peace to Israel, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Friday.
"Israel has to make a choice. Denying the existence and rights of the Palestinians, applying pressure and oppression has not brought peace to Israel and it will not bring peace," Fidan told a news conference in the capital Ankara along with Lars Lokke Rasmussen, his Danish counterpart.
"Those who remain silent in the face of the killing of innocent civilians in Gaza and those who unconditionally support Israel's crimes become accomplices in this oppression," he added.
Citing the remarks of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Fidan said all of humanity stands at a crossroads in Gaza.
"Either a war will spread to the world, or a great peace will emerge. Türkiye's preference is for peace."
Fidan said that if Israel wants to live in peace and security, it must respect the Palestinians' right to live on their own land.
"The only way to resolve the issue is to establish an independent, sovereign Palestinian state with geographical integrity, with its capital in East Jerusalem, based on the 1967 borders."
Türkiye recommends that external actors do not become complicit in the crimes committed by Israel under the guise of solidarity, he added.
During his press conference with Rasmussen, Fidan noted some differences in their stances on terrorism.
Türkiye considers the YPG – the terrorist PKK’s Syrian wing – and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) – the group behind a defeated 2016 coup in Türkiye – terrorist organizations, but other countries do not, he said.
"We informed him (Rasmussen) that we do not consider Hamas, which is a part of the Palestinian state and a political party within the state system, a terrorist organization."
Stressing that this does not imply the acceptance of the killing of civilians, Fidan said: "On the contrary, we have stated from the very beginning that we condemn it."
The Mideast conflict escalated dramatically after Hamas’ military wing carried out an unprecedented attack on Israel on Oct. 7, firing thousands of rockets and sending hundreds of fighters into Israeli towns.
Israel responded with a relentless campaign of air and artillery strikes on the Gaza Strip, with the government saying it is preparing for a ground offensive in Gaza.
Over 8,700 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 7,326 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis. Some 70% of the Palestinian deaths are women and children, according to official figures.
Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are grappling with shortages of food, water, and medicine due to Israel’s massive air bombardment and blockade of the enclave, with only a trickle of aid allowed into the strip.