World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has announced three days of mourning beginning on Tuesday to show solidarity with Palestinians against the Israeli campaign on Gaza.
Arinc said Turkey condemns Israel's massacre on Palestinians and he described Israel's military operation, as an "atrocity that has almost turned into a genocide."
Turkey is conducting diplomatic talks with its neighboring countries as well as the U.S. and the UN Security Council to help to resolve the situation in Gaza, he added.
"Israel should end its arbitrary treatment of the Palestinian people and understand that national security provides a just, fair and comprehensive peace," he said.
It is a rare move, as Turkey does not usually declare mourning over disasters or incidents in foreign countries.
"We curse the merciless massacre committed by Israel against the Palestinian people, which has turned into a collective punishment. Our Cabinet has decided to declare three days of mourning," Arınç told reporters following a five-hour-long Cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 21.
Turkey's national mourning in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza starts on July 22 with lowering all flags in public places and official buildings.
Municipal authorities in Turkey are backing a boycott of Israeli goods in response to Israel’s military attack on Gaza, which has claimed nearly 600 lives so far.
Authorities in Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa and cities and towns across the country are refusing to stock Israeli products in shops, cafes and recreation centers they manage and are calling on residents not to buy them.
As well as Israeli goods, many are also banning Coca-Cola in protest at U.S. support for Israel.
Sakir Yucel Karaman, mayor of Istanbul's Gungoren district, said: "It is important to emphasize that we should not give any logistical support to Israeli violence."
“With this understanding, we decided to make clear our attitude by not selling Coca Cola products and others which support the illegal Zionist expansionist policies of Israel."
Hilmi Turkmen, mayor of the city’s Uskudar district, added: "We should at least support our side in such situation as Muslim countries have subsided into a silence."
The boycott expanded across the country through social media with posts listing goods produced in Israel or by companies closely linked to Israel.
Since July 7, Israel has pounded the embattled coastal enclave with fierce air and naval bombardments with the stated aim of halting Palestinian rocket fire.
Sunday was the deadliest day yet of Israel's two-week onslaught, with at least 110 Palestinians – including 72 in eastern Gaza City's residential area of Shujaya – killed in devastating air and artillery attacks.
On Thursday night, Israel stepped up its offensive to include ground operations, sending thousands of troops into the embattled Palestinian territory.
Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the blockaded Gaza Strip within the last six years.