Turkish Prime Minister and AK Party presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday said in an interview on CNN that Israel is a "terror state" and its operations in Gaza are creating a "wave of terror."
Dismissing Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu's criticism that the Turkish and Qatari governments are involved in funding Hamas' alleged terrorist activities, Erdoğan asked "who finances Israel?"
He highlighted that Turkey is only delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. "Qatar's cooperation with Turkey has always been to be on the side of the persecuted and to support them through humanitarian aid. This is what's being done," added Erdoğan. He also said, " If Israel is sincere on establishing ceasefire, we [Turkey] will convince Hamas."
The Turkish prime minister echoed that Turkey is a member state of NATO and added, "We are a country that acts within the framework together with our partners in NATO. We have an international identity, a character. We never got involved in terrorism - we have always fought against terrorism."
In his political rally in Turkey's southern city of Mersin, Erdoğan said as Israel continues to viciously shell Gaza, the entire world, including Muslim countries turn a blind eye to this Israeli massacre. "The world's nations stand against this [Israeli massacre] now. Certain governments do not allow protests [against Israel] and yet they claim that they are democratic and liberal," said Erdoğan.
The prime minister noted that Turkey has given its helping hand to all nations and countries that are in need of help during the AK Party's 12 years in office. Erdoğan noted that the Turkish Presidency of Emergency and Disaster (TİKA), the Directorate of Religious Affairs and prime ministry do their best to help the people of Gaza and all others oppressed around the world. He said, "No one can set the agenda of Turkey in accord with their own interests anymore. This is a new and independent Turkey."
Reiterating that former Turkish Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, who was prime minister from 1999 to 2002, stood against Israeli aggression toward Gaza and described the attacks as "genocide" during his tenure, Erdoğan continued, "Both Israel and other world powers denounced Ecevit and made him apologize four times in two weeks. They still want Turkey to remain silent, but we will not comply." Also, Erdoğan pledged that even though the entire world prefers to keep their silence on the Israel-Palestine issue, Turkey will not stop to stand against this aggression and cruelty.