Turkey's Erdogan: Israel deliberately killing Palestinian mothers

Turkish Prime Minister and presidential candidate Erdogan criticizes international media for turning a blind eye to the deaths in Gaza

Turkey's Erdogan: Israel deliberately killing Palestinian mothers

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel on Sunday of deliberately killing Palestinian mothers and warned it would "drown in the blood it sheds", pulling foreign policy to centre stage as a presidential race enters its final week.

Hundreds of thousands of people had filled the rally site -- a 1.2 million square meters area in Maltepe -- hours before Erdogan's appearance to voice their support for him in Sunday's election.

During his passionate address to his supporters, Erdogan renewed his strong criticism against ongoing Israeli offensives on the Gaza strip, which have left at least 1,830 Palestinians dead according to Palestinian health ministry.

Addressing hundreds of thousands of supporters at his biggest rally so far ahead of the Aug. 10 election, Erdogan said "Just like Hitler, who sought to establish a race free of all faults, Israel is chasing after the same target."

"They kill women so that they will not give birth to Palestinians; they kill babies so that they won't grow up; they kill men so they can't defend their country ... They will drown in the blood they shed," he said.

Pro-Palestinian sentiment runs high in Turkey, and protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets in recent weeks to demonstrate against Israel's offensive in Gaza.

The Israeli offensive – codenamed "Operation Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip within the last six years.

Civilians, including children and women, make up a substantial part of the causalities from the relentless shelling and bombardments in Gaza, where many residential places as well as UN facilities, schools and mosques have become targets.

"They will drown in the blood they shed," Erdogan added.

Erdogan also criticized international media for ignoring the death of 10 journalists and the assault on the building housing Anadolu Agency's Gaza office.

"Are there any reactions from the world? Where are the international media and press organizations? You immediately stand up in support of terror criminals in Turkey, saying 'Journalists are under arrest!' Why don't you see the journalists killed in Palestine?" he asked.

The building housing Anadolu Agency's office has been hit twice by the Israeli army since July 7.

The Turkish premier also said Turkey continued to aid Gazans by sending food assistance to thousands of families and delivering 20 tons of medicine and medical equipment since the beginning of the latest wave of Israeli onslaught on Gaza. 

HISTORIC VOTE

Over 50 million Turks are expected to vote next Sunday, electing their president directly for the first time. Two polls last month put Erdogan on 55-56 percent, a 20-point lead over the main opposition candidate, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

Erdogan began his speech by reciting all 40 lines of the Turkish national anthem to roars from supporters who waited hours for him in scorching heat in the newly-built rally arena in Istanbul's Maltepe district.

"August 10 will be a cornerstone," Erdogan said in a speech broadcast live on a dozen national television channels.

"Do you know what you will say to your children, to your grandchildren in the future? That you have voted for the first president that the people voted for," he said.

Kurdish candidate Selahattin Demirtas, running a distant third in the polls, urged Erdogan on Sunday to cut economic and military ties with Israel instead of "screaming and shouting".

"Forget the shouting ... If you want to provide help to the Palestinian people, stop fooling the people. With a serious boycott, let's all together stop the Israeli state's policies of massacres," he told tens of thousands of supporters at a rally that was also held on the Asian side of Istanbul.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Ağustos 2014, 10:56

Muhammed Öylek

YORUM EKLE