Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Israel a ‘terror state’ and accused the West of hypocrisy for not doing more to stop the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Erdogan’s comments come as Turkey and Israel have been at loggerheads for several years over several issues.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly criticized Israel, calling it a “terror state” and condemning its military actions in the Gaza Strip. Erdogan accused Israel of conducting the “most treacherous attacks in human history” against the Palestinian armed group Hamas, with what he described as “unlimited” support from the West. Erdogan criticized Western nations, specifically the United States, for supporting Israel’s actions and trying to legitimize what he termed as genocide.
Erdogan’s strong criticisms of Israel followed bombings in Gaza aimed at countering the Islamist movement, Hamas. He condemned the increasing Palestinian casualties resulting from Israeli retaliation since an attack on October 7. According to Hamas, the conflict led to at least 1,200 Israeli deaths, mainly civilians, and an estimated 11,240 Palestinian deaths, predominantly civilians.
During a speech to members of his Justice and Development Party in parliament, Erdogan called for Israeli leaders to be tried for war crimes at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He reiterated Turkey’s position that Hamas is a political party, not a “terrorist organization,” emphasizing that it had won the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006.
Erdogan expressed concern about the alleged genocide in Gaza and urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to disclose whether Israel possesses nuclear weapons. He also stated that Ankara would take measures to label Israeli settlers in occupied Palestinian territories as “terrorists.”
In response, Netanyahu dismissed Erdogan’s remarks, stating that he would not be “morally lectured” by the Turkish leader and accusing Erdogan of supporting “the terrorist state Hamas.” The tensions between the two countries have escalated, with Turkey recalling its ambassador to Israel and suspending official contacts with Netanyahu.
The Turkish president’s comments came just days before a planned meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has faced criticism for receiving Erdogan. Germany, backing Israel, has rejected calls for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza, advocating instead for “humanitarian pauses” to the conflict.
Despite criticism, Erdogan reaffirmed his support for Hamas, referring to them as resistance fighters, ahead of his planned visit to Berlin. His upcoming trips include visits to Egypt and a meeting with the Iranian president, signaling continued alignment with Middle Eastern countries and support for the Palestinian cause.