Turkish PM Erdoğan hits out at Egypt for ‘silence’ over Palestine

Turkish PM Erdoğan hits out at Egypt for ‘silence’ over Palestine

Turkish PM Erdoğan hits out at Egypt for ‘silence’ over Palestine

This image released by Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA) shows Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L), meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo. AP Photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan once again hit out at the international community, particularly Egypt, for “remaining silent” against the ongoing Israeli military operations in Gaza, while addressing his parliamentary group July 22. During the speech, Erdoğan wore a scarf resembling a keffiyeh across his shoulders, symbolizing solidarity with the Palestinians.

“Israel continues to occupy Palestine step by step, while killing Palestinians. Neither the United Nations, nor Western countries, nor Islamic nations are reacting seriously. The world is just watching children die. The world is just watching attacks on hospitals and houses of worship. But as states are taking such a stance, the people [of the world] are reacting and taking to the streets,” he said, saluting all countries where anti-Israel demonstrations have recently taken place.

The watching audience frequently interrupted his speech with applause, chanting “Down with Israel” slogans.

Erdoğan also praised deposed Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi for opening the Rafah gate to Gaza when he was in power. He said the “coup leaders” who replaced Morsi closed the gate, which had been the most important aid route into Gaza, and again repeated his criticism of Western nations for “not calling what took place in Egypt a coup.”

“Now, all of them are watching the massacre, especially Egypt,” he said.

Turkey and Egypt downgraded relations and mutually withdrew their ambassadors last year after the military ousted Morsi.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry on July 20 summoned Turkey’s charge d’affaires over criticism of Cairo’s handling of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Egypt’s foreign minister, meanwhile, accused Qatar, Turkey and Hamas last week of conspiring to undermine Cairo’s efforts to bring about a ceasefire between the Palestinian militant group and Israel in Gaza.

Turkey ruled out such claims, with President Abdulah Gül describing them as “ridiculous.”  “Turkey will stand by Palestine whatever it takes,” Erdoğan said on July 22. “Turkey sees those who are massacred in Gaza as its own brothers.”