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."

 

Regime strikes in Syria enclave despite ceasefire call

Russia pours cold water on UN bid to condemn Iran over missiles to Yemen

Egypt presidential race starts with Sisi likely to win

Christian leaders close Church of the Holy Sepulchre in tax dispute

Blatter supports Morocco bid for 2026 World Cup

Iraq condemns 15 Turkish women to death for belonging to IS

Thousands expected for radical Israeli rabbi's funeral

Syrian Kurd leader arrested in Prague

Philippine officials meet nationals in Kuwait amid labour row

Families of IS suspects in Iraq face 'collective punishment'

Iran's ex-intelligence minister slams handling of prison death

More strikes hit E. Ghouta as UN delays truce vote

Turkey says US embassy Jerusalem opening in May 'extremely worrying'

Lebanon says both suspects in Kuwait murder of Filipina maid held

38 dead in Mogadishu car bombings

Morocco police arrests prominent newspaper publisher

Syria regime continues to pound Ghouta as world stutters

UN rights commission wants S.Sudan war crimes charges

Iran grounds airline's ATR planes after crash

Turkey summons Dutch diplomat over Armenian 'genocide' vote

Turkey navy threatens to engage Italian drillship near Cyprus

Iran police shoving headscarf protester sparks social media storm

UN Security Council to vote Friday on Syria ceasefire

Dubai says Djibouti illegally seized African port

Dutch parliament recognises 1915 Armenian massacre as genocide

Heavily bombarded Eastern Ghouta awaits UN resolution

Russia says Syria rebels rejected offer to evacuate E. Ghouta

UN diplomats press for Syria ceasefire without Russia veto

Iranian minister’s presence at UN rights meeting angers critics

Iran warns it will leave nuke deal if banks cannot do business

Qatar to plant thousands of trees to ‘beautify’ World Cup venues

Pro-Kurdish party says Turkey lying about 'no civilian deaths' in Afrin

African migrants protest Israeli detention policy

Egypt sentences 21 to death for planning attacks

Israeli handball teams in Qatar spark furious outcry from locals

UN report highlights S.Sudan journalist treatment

Palestinian dies after being shot by Israeli soldiers

Gulf states urge Syria to end Ghouta violence

Wanted Bahraini militants die at sea en route to Iran

Saudi Arabia to boost entertainment in next decade

Iran's Ahmadinejad calls for immediate free elections

Merkel calls for end to 'massacre' in Syria

Iraq urges FIFA to lift ban on hosting internationals

Carnage of Ghouta's bombs breaking families

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea