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Turkish president slams 'tyrant' Israeli premier

Turkish President Erdogan calls Israeli PM Netanyahu ‘a tyrant massacring Palestinian children’

Aynur Ekiz and Ozcan Yildirim   | 13.03.2019
Turkish president slams 'tyrant' Israeli premier


Turkey’s president said the Israeli premier was a "tyrant massacring Palestinian children" on Wednesday. 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was in Ankara to attend a mass opening ceremony, slammed Benjamin Netanyahu for his remarks on Tuesday.

Erdogan also criticized Israel over its assault on the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, saying the Turkish nation would raise its voice for any attack against the mosque.

The Turkish president said Turkey will stand against every Israeli attack targeting Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Turkish people would not be silent, even if the rest of the world refused to speak.

He said Turkey would continue its struggle for Jerusalem until the city is administrated in a way that is appropriate with its importance to the Islamic world.

In addition, Erdogan warned Israel that Turkey would call it to account for its attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in front of the international community.

Tensions have mounted in Jerusalem since February, when Israeli police briefly sealed the Al-Aqsa compound’s Al-Rahma Gate, located adjacent to the eastern wall of the Old City, sparking Palestinian demonstrations. 

In the weeks since, Israeli authorities have banned scores of Palestinians -- including religious officials -- from entering the compound, which for Muslims represents the world’s third holiest site. 

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Speaking at 5th International Benevolence Awards ceremony at Bestepe Congress Center on Wednesday evening, Erdogan said: “If there is a tyrant in the world, it is you," referring to Netanyahu.

"Are not you the one who keeps thousands of children, women and old people in jail because of election in Israel? Aren't you the one who tyrannizes them?" the Turkish president said.

He slammed the European leaders, who attended an EU-Arab summit in Egypt just after a mass execution of young men by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

"How can you respond to Sisi's invitation while the execution is forbidden in the EU?" Erdogan questioned.

The two-day EU-Arab summit in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh last month saw heavy attendance by European officials despite Egypt’s execution of nine young men over the 2015 assassination of Hisham Barakat, Egypt's prosecutor-general.

Egypt has remained beset by violence and turmoil since the army deposed Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, in a 2013 coup.

Earlier, a senior aide to the Turkish president also lashed out at remarks by Israel's prime minister targeting the Turkish leader. 

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Benjamin Netanyahu attacked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "for exposing the Israeli leader's racist remarks towards Arabs and Muslims". 

Netanyahu had said on Tuesday that Israel is "a nation state not of all its citizens but only of the Jewish people." 

* Writing by Can Erozden, Gozde Bayar and Jeyhun Aliyev

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