President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's words were not directed at the Jewish people but the Israeli government, which has continued to attack Palestine for days, leading to the death of many innocent people, most of which constitute children, the Foreign Ministry stated on Wednesday.
In response to a U.S. State Department statement, the ministry underlined that the U.S. administration should exert efforts to put a stop to Israel's violence toward civilians instead of targeting Erdoğan.
“Removing the veto in the U.N. Security Council will be a significant step in this manner.”
The ministry underlined that there has never been a culture of anti-Semitism in Turkish society, which promotes all religious groups living in harmony.
“Our country has been home to large numbers of Jews that fled centuries ago in the inquisition and during the Holocaust in World War II. Brave Turkish diplomats have helped to save hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust,” it said, adding that the Jewish community in Turkey does not face any discrimination and lives in peace.
The ministry stressed that anti-Semitism must not be used as a front “to give the Israeli administration immunity and to exempt it from criticism of ethnic, religious and cultural cleansing that it conducts systematically toward the Palestinian people along with attacks.”
It said the country's veto has left the paralyzed the U.N. Security Council and reveals how grave issue of Israel's immunity has become.
Turkey’s Jewish community similarly strongly rejected claims that Erdoğan is anti-Semitic, in response to a recent statement by the U.S. State Department.
The U.S. State Department on Tuesday criticized Erdoğan for what it called "anti-Semitic" remarks.
"The United States strongly condemns President Erdoğan's recent anti-Semitic comments regarding the Jewish people and finds them reprehensible," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Erdoğan, a vocal champion of the Palestinian cause during his 18-year rule, has fired salvos at Israel since the start of the violence in Gaza.
"They are murderers, to the point that they kill children who are five or six years old. They are murderers, to the point they drag women on the ground to their death and they are murderers, to the point they kill old people... They only are satisfied by sucking their blood," he said.
Erdoğan also lashed out at U.S. President Joe Biden for his diplomatic support for Israel, saying the leader has "bloody hands."
The Israeli army has launched incessant attacks on Gaza since May 10, killing at least 212 Palestinians, including 61 children and 35 women, and injuring 1,400 others, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
In its recent indiscriminate attacks, Israel has also targeted the press and Turkish journalists, drawing condemnation from press institutions around the world.
The airstrikes on Gaza were preceded by days of tension and Israeli aggression in occupied East Jerusalem, where hundreds of Palestinians were assaulted by Israeli forces at Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.
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