PM Erdoğan’s outbursts ‘hurt Turkey’s standing in the world,’ Washington says
'You can use your influence with Hamas without saying horribly offensive things,' Marie Harf said. AA PhotoWashington has repeated its criticism of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent remarks that compared Israel’s military operation in Gaza Strip to the acts of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, saying that such comments “hurt Turkey’s standing in the world.”
“We certainly believe comments like these undercut Turkey’s ability to effectively influence the situation. I completely agree with what Jen [Psaki, spokesperson for the United States] said about how offensive and awful these comments were and they quite frankly hurt Turkey’s international standing,” Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said on July 21, referring to Spokesperson Psaki’s recent statement.
Erdoğan has been using extremely strong language against Israel throughout the ongoing Israeli military operations in Gaza, while also chiding the U.S.
“They [Israel] always curse Hitler, but they now even exceed him in barbarism. Some Americans ask why does the prime minister [Erdoğan] make such comparisons with Hitler? What’s that to you? You’re America, what’s Hitler to do with you?” Erdoğan said on July 19. One day after that, he claimed “It’s America who is offensive” regarding the response to the bloodshed in Gaza.
After Psaki had previously described Erdoğan’s words as “offensive and wrong” on July 18, her deputy Harf revisited the issue following a question during a daily press briefing on July 21.
“You can use your influence with Hamas without saying horribly offensive things,” Harf said.
When asked if “the Turks had forfeited their good position” as a viable interlocutor in the region, she added, “Not at all.”
Harf denied that Turkey was now excluded from the Egypt-led talks for a cease-fire in Gaza Strip. “The Secretary of State [John Kerry] remains engaged with all of our partners in the region about this issue,” Harf said, adding Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was among the figures he recently spoke with by phone on the matter.
“Turkey is a very close NATO ally. We work together on a number of issues. When we have disagreements, we make those clear as well,” Harf said.