'My condolences to the martyrs' killed in Gaza protests, Erdogan says

In a speech after Monday's fraught events, the Turkish president referred to Israel as a "terrorist state."

May 14, 2018 23:23
1 minute read.

Turkey's Erdogan equates deadly Gaza violence to 'genocide,' May 14, 2018 (Reuters)

Turkey's Erdogan equates deadly Gaza violence to 'genocide,' May 14, 2018 (Reuters)


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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday called Israel a "terrorist state" after the Israel Defense Forces shot and killed over 50 Palestinians taking part in protests along the Gaza border.

Erdogan called for three days of mourning in solidarity with those killed by the IDF in Monday's protests, which coincided with the dedication of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Those killed, he said, were civilians practicing their democratic rights. He gave his "condolences to the martyrs" and reiterated Turkish support for their "Palestinian brothers and sisters."

At least 55 Palestinians were killed and over 2,000 wounded in Monday's protests along the Gaza border. The IDF also employed tear gas to deter Gazans from attempting to breach the fence that delineates the Strip from Israel proper.

"What Israel is doing is a genocide," he said, adding that this "genocide and occupation" have been ongoing since 1948.

In the speech, Erdogan also called for a meeting of the pan-Muslim Organization for Islamic Cooperation to discuss the escalating situation. In addition, he called for an aid campaign to be started to assist Palestinians and said that the Turkish Red Crescent had made an emergency $100 purchase of aid materials to send to hospitals in Gaza.

Turkey announced on Monday that, after the events of the day, it was recalling its ambassadors to both the United States and Israel. The country had opposed the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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