First Published: 2004-06-03

 
Erdogan blasts Israel's right-wing government
 

Turkish PM accuses Israel of indiscriminate killing of Palestinians, describes operations in Rafah 'state terror'.

 

Middle East Online

Erdogan compared Israel's mistreatment of Palestinians to Spanish inquisition

JERUSALEM - Israel is killing innocent Palestinians indiscriminately and failing to contribute to the peace process, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview published Thursday.

In his latest broadside at his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon, Erdogan also compared the treatment of the Palestinians to that of the Jews during the Spanish inquisition when thousands were tortured and expelled from their homes.

"Jews were the victims at that time. Today, the Palestinians are the victims, and unfortunately the people of Israel are treating the Palestinians as they were treated 500 years ago," Erdogan told Israel's Haaretz daily.

"Bombing people - civilians - from helicopters, killing people without any considerations - children, women, the elderly - razing their buildings using bulldozers."

Relations between the Israel and its chief Muslim ally Turkey have plummeted in recent days after Erdogan described Israel's operations in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah as "state terror".

Israel's foreign ministry responded with an unprecedented statement calling Erdogan's comments "extremely regrettable".

"One could have expected that Turkey, which also fell prey to cruel terrorism, would show more understanding and solidarity," the ministry said.

Erdogan told Haaretz that he had no problem with the Israeli people, only its present right-wing government.

"When we look at relations on the level of the peoples, we cannot even conceive of any problems," he said.

"But at the level of the government, we are in favour of the peace process being regenerated, and the government of Israel has not contributed to our efforts to do so."

 

Egypt Christians bury victims with tears, anger

UN says nations bombing IS must protect civilians

Palestinians end mass hunger strike in Israel jails

Probe finds over 100 Mosul civilians killed in US air strike

Syria girls escape war with Snow White

Egypt hits jihadists as IS claims deadly attack on Christians

Britain arrests two more in Manchester attack probe

Turkey charges opposition newspaper staff

Death toll in Tripoli clashes reaches 52

Hundreds of migrants rescued in major operation off Libya

Ramadan in Libya: little cash, much violence

UN braces for up to 200,000 Iraqis to flee Mosul

Iraq forces launch broad attack on IS holdouts in Mosul

Civilians flee IS-held Syria cities after deadly strikes

At least 28 dead in Tripoli clashes

26 killed in attack on Egypt Christians

Turkey identifies 'intelligence weaknesses' before coup attempt

Tunisia opens trial over 2015 beach massacre

Syria army takes control of key road

US-led strikes kill 35 civilians in east Syria

Palestinian president says US should mediate hunger strike

Libya says working closely with Britain over concert attack

EU leaders, Erdogan meet in bid to ease tensions

Myanmar to deport Turkish family wanted for alleged coup links

Iran says it has built third underground missile factory

Trump gets rough ride in EU, NATO meeting

Saudi minister confident on oil output deal

Egyptians brace for austere Ramadan

Qatari FM says country victim of smear campaign, particularly in US

Britain probes jihadist network amid row with US intelligence

Egypt blocks several media websites including Jazeera

IS suicide bomber kills five in Somalia

Israel uneasy over 'crazy' regional arms race

Algeria president replaces Prime Minister

16 civilians dead in coalition strikes near Raqa

4 arrested in Tunisia anti-corruption drive

German MPs call off Turkey visit as tensions fester

Palestinian hunger strike row draws solidarity, controversy

Britain raises terror alert, deploys troops after concert massacre

Qatar probes state news agency hack

At least 20 migrants killed in Mediterranean

Israeli joy at Trump visit lacks substance

Oman evacuates Australian man from Yemen

Bahrain police open fire on Shiite protest, kill five

Turkey arrests hunger strikers on terror charges