Turkish PM accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing

Turkish PM accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish PM accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AA photo

Israel is guilty of conducting ethnic cleansing against Palestinians with six days of air strikes that have killed around 100 people, mostly civilians, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today.

"I was in Egypt during the weekend. This was crucial at a time when Israel is continuing its bloody attack against Gaza. The world has to understand and seriously think about it. Israel is conducting ethnic cleansing in the region. It is occupying Palestinian soil step by step and Palestinians are using their right to defense,” he told the parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), adding that they were obliged to take action over the ongoing events in Gaza.

"We have to struggle either with our hand, either with our tongue or with our heart,” he said. "If we're going to die, we have to die bravely like a man."

The prime minister also called on the West to do more. "I'm appealing to the West. Nobody can say Israel is conducting self-defense. Israel is terrorizing the Middle East. Is murdering a 4-year-old child self-defense?” Erdoğan asked, noting that reforms were needed on a U.N. Security Council that the prime minister said he no longer had any confidence in.

Erdoğan further addressed peace organizations, asking why organizations had not appeared in Gaza while they were following the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey.

“I am speaking to peace organizations in the world. People are talking about human rights. Do atheists come to mind when [people say] human rights?” Erdoğan said. “You follow the PKK in Turkey, you come [to Turkey] for them. Why aren’t you in Gaza? We have to ask this.”