World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey demands an immediate stop to the bloodshed in Palestine, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
"There is blood everywhere in the Middle East," Erdogan said, calling for all sides to the conflict to be moderate. "It is such a pity the blood belongs to Muslims; and what is worse is that those who cause it are Muslims as well, except in Palestine," Erdogan added.
The Turkish leader was attending a conference of Islamic scholars in Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace on Thursday.
Pointing to the latest developments in the region, Erdogan criticized some Islamic countries for being content with what happens in Palestine today “because if that is not the case, they will find themselves involved in the matter," he noted.
Erdogan also accused leaders in the Muslim world of not being interested in Gaza because it is not a sectarian issue. "That is why the Islamic world keeps silent. Our children and brothers die in Palestine. Humanity has been destroyed there, as well as the honor of Muslims."
Turkey’s foreign ministry announced its unease over the Israeli launched ground operation in Gaza on Thursday.
The Israeli army launched a ground operation into the Gaza Strip Thursday evening, following ten days of relentless airstrikes on the Palestinian territory, and according to Palestinian Health Ministry official, resulting in the deaths of 246 Palestinians and injuries of 1,860 people.
"We condemn the Israel ground operation in Gaza, right after its inhuman air attacks," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced on his Twitter account on Friday.
Davutoglu said he talked to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and Turkey will call for an emergency meeting over Israeli military intervention to the UN Security Council, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the UN Commission on Human Rights.
He also spoke with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the General Secretary of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Iyad Madani, to discuss the halting of the ground operation as soon as possible.
"We expect a call from all countries to ask for a stop to Israel's lawlessness," Davutoglu said.
The ground operation caused anxiety over other Turkish politicians too. Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek also strongly condemned Israeli ground operations in Gaza, and said it is unacceptable.
"It is time for everyone to say stop to this injustice, and a ceasefire should be enforced immediately," added Cicek.
PLAYING WITH FIRE
During a speech broadcast live by state television, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Isler said Israel plays with fire and it is headed for a fall.
"We see the international community has collapsed," Isler added referring to international organizations who have remained silent in the face of Israel's military operations.
Meanwhile, a group of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party MPs protested against Israel’s ground operation in front of Israeli Embassy in Ankara.
Israeli military planes have been pounding the Gaza Strip since July 7 with the stated aim of halting rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.
Gaza-based resistance factions, for their part, have continued to fire rockets at Israel – some of which have reached Tel Aviv – in response to the deadly airstrikes.
Israel's military operation, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the embattled Gaza Strip – home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – in the last six years.
A group of demonstrators, including women and children, protested against Israel’s ground operation in front of the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul's Levent district early Friday morning.
The protestors, who held Turkish and Palestinian flags, shouted out slogans against Israel.
Some protestors entered the garden of the plaza, where the consulate is located, and broke the windows with sticks and stones.
Despite the police's intervention with water cannon and tear gas during the protests, protestors are keeping up their demonstration.
ABBAS TO VISIT TURKEY
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be in Ankara on Friday as part of a two-day official visit upon the invitation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Abbas is scheduled to meet President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on Friday, prime ministry sources said.
The meetings will focus on the latest developments in Palestine, Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip and the Palestine-Turkey relations.
Mahmoud Abbas, a member of Fatah, has served as the President of Palestine since 2005. This will be his first visit to Turkey since Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian political factions, signed a reconciliation agreement in April.Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Temmuz 2014, 09:42