Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was presented on Monday with the "Outstanding Personality in the Islamic World Award" of the Sheikh Fahad al-Ahmad International Award for Charity in a ceremony held in Kuwait's capital, Kuwait City.
Speaking at the ceremony, Erdogan directed harsh criticisms against what he described as "inhumane Israeli aggression," saying Turkey will always make its voice heard to stand up against such atrocities.
"We cannot turn a blind eye on the killings of Palestinians at the hands of Israel, the killing of nine Turks in an act of piracy in the Mediterranean and the killings of the children, the women and the old at strawberry fields, at schools, at playgrounds and at hospitals. We cannot and we will not remain silent," Erdogan said.
Erdogan said he would not bow down in the face of criticisms and the questionings of Turkey's sensitivities and reactions to sufferings in its region.
"We have a heart. We have a conscience. We are human and we care about human values. We do not accept an order in which who speaks the loudest becomes the strongest," he said.
In January 2009, Erdogan stormed off the stage after an exchange with the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, during a panel discussion on Gaza at the World Economic Forum, with an angry Turkish premier telling Peres, "When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill."
Tensions between Turkey and Israel further escalated when Israeli commandos raided last May a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killing eight Turks and a U.S.-Turkish citizen.