(photo credit: REUTERS)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his wishes to the Jews of his country on Thursday, extending his own Rosh Hashana greeting.
"There have been a number of different beliefs and cultures living
together for centuries in our country," the Turkish prime minister said
in his address. "Special days and holidays add special color to our
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"Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year and I wish our Jewish citizens a healthy and fruitful new year," he added.
Erdodgan did not mention Israel in his statement.
His message came as a war of words was developing between him and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over comments made about the Holocaust and the number of Palestinians killed during conflicts.
On Wednesday, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that comments
made by Erdogan to CNN were mistranslated by the network.
According to the original translation, Erdogan apparently said that Israel has killed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.
Turkish transcript of the interview, provided by Turkish state news
agency Anatolia, revealed that "Erdogan said hundreds, thousands, tens
of thousands of Palestinians were killed by Israelis," Hurriyet reported.
Erdogan's comments stirred up harsh criticism from top Israeli officials. Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Post that Israel "has certainly not taken the lives of hundreds of
thousands of Palestinians."
"I regret that we hear these statements from the
leader of Turkey," Netanyahu said.