Delusional Israel will target Turkey next, Erdogan warns
05/21/2024 // Belle Carter // Views

In the event that Israel would victoriously overcome the Palestinian Islamist political and military movement Hamas in Gaza, it would come after Turkey next. This was a firm warning of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently.

"Israel will not stop in Gaza, and if not stopped, this rogue state will eventually target Anatolia with its delusions of a promised land," Erdogan said during a parliamentary group meeting in Ankara. “We will continue to stand by Hamas, which fights for the independence of its own land and which defends Anatolia.”

He added that on Nakba, the Day of Catastrophe, Turkey once again declares with all its being and resources that "we stand by Palestine and the Palestinian cause … We will also ensure that the perpetrators of genocide face justice."

Erdogan has repeatedly rejected Israel, the United States and the European Union's claim that Hamas is classed as a terrorist group. For him, it is an organization of freedom fighters. Earlier in the week, the Turkish president reported that more than 1,000 members of Hamas were being treated in Turkish hospitals amid the ongoing war in Gaza.

He has also met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul, after which he encouraged Palestinians to unite against Israel. His intelligence chief Ibrahim Kalin also met with the group’s leaders in Doha on Sunday to discuss ceasefire talks and access to humanitarian aid in Gaza, a Turkish security source said.

The Turkish leader has been a vocal critic of Israel's war in the enclave following Hamas' attack on Oct.7, comparing Israel to the Nazis and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. On Sunday, Erdogan said that Netanyahu's "genocidal methods" would have made Hitler "jealous." He condemned Israel for carrying out massacres that are marks of shame in human history, both in Gaza and the West Bank. Because of this he vowed to continue to defend the struggle of Palestine and promised to be the voice of the oppressed Palestinian people. (Related: Turkey's Erdogan condemns Israel’s Netanyahu for outdoing Hitler in slaughter of 14,000 children in Gaza.)

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Erdogan and Netanyahu have a long history of public bickering, which have ebbed and flowed alongside Israel and Turkey’s on-again, off-again relations. The attacks had halted as Jerusalem and Ankara ties warmed, but the détente has seemingly fallen apart over the Israel-Hamas war.

Earlier this month, Erdogan announced that Turkey would halt all trade between his country and Israel in a highly impactful move against Jerusalem over the war against Hamas. Days after announcing a trade freeze, the Turkish government partially walked back its decision by issuing temporary approval for the supply of construction materials to Israel. Ankara has also refrained from obstructing the flow of oil from neighboring Azerbaijan to Israel. For its part, Tel Aviv has been quietly returning diplomats to Turkey in recent weeks after withdrawing them months ago over security concerns.

However, observers believe that Turkish officials are sending mixed signals when it comes to its stance on Israel’s genocidal operations in Gaza. Recently, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said his country decided to submit its declaration of official intervention in South Africa's genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

"Israel systematically killing thousands of innocent Palestinians and rendering a whole residential area uninhabitable is a crime against humanity, attempted genocide, and the manifestation of genocide," Fidan told reporters.

West is not doing enough to pressure Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza

Speaking to Muslim scholars in Istanbul over the weekend, Erdogan alleged that the United States and European countries were not doing enough to pressure Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza even though Hamas has already accepted a truce proposal.

He said that the militant group already agreed to a ceasefire proposal by Qatar and Egypt in a "step in the path toward a lasting ceasefire" but Netanyahu's government did not want the war to end. "The response of the Netanyahu government was to attack the innocent people in Rafah," he said, referring to the Gazan city that Israel is targeting. "It has become clear who sides with peace and dialogue, and who wants clashes continuing and more bloodshed.”

"And did Netanyahu see any serious reaction to his spoiled behavior? No. Neither Europe nor America showed a reaction that would force Israel into a ceasefire," he added.

The Turkish president also slammed the West's unconditional support for Israel. Its planned assault on Rafah, hosting some 1.4 million Palestinians mostly displaced in the war, has helped fuel the deepest tensions in relations between Israel and its main ally Washington in generations.

Meanwhile, Ankara on Friday welcomed the United Nations General Assembly's backing for a Palestinian bid to become a full U.N. member. Erdogan on Sunday called on countries not recognizing a Palestinian sovereign state to do so after the vote but slammed Washington and others who voted against it.

"We saw that countries who lecture us on human rights and freedoms at every opportunity openly support those who massacred 35,000 Gazans," he said, citing figures from Gaza's health ministry. "We saw that those who said the right to protest was sacred until yesterday can't tolerate demonstrations that support Palestine." contains more news related to the ongoing conflicts around the world.

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