Accusing Israel of being a “cruel” and “terrorist” state is part of Ankara’s desire to use the tensions in Jerusalem to boost Turkey’s image
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called Israel a cruel “terrorist” state, as Turkish media called to “free al-Aqsa” in Jerusalem, just like he reconsecrated the historic Church of Hagia Sophia
as a mosque last year.
Writing in Turkish, Erdogan said he “invite[s] the whole world, especially the Islamic countries, to take effective action against Israel’s attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem and Palestinian homes”.
Writing in Hebrew, Erdogan said he strongly condemned the “heinous attacks” in Jerusalem and that he would stand with his “Palestinian brothers”.
Erdogan also tweeted in Arabic and linked the Israeli “attacks” to Ramadan, suggesting that Israel does this every year.
Accusing Israel of being a “cruel” and “terrorist” state is part of Ankara’s desire to use the tensions in Jerusalem to boost Turkey’s image.
Ankara has long sought to play a greater role in Palestinian affairs, going back more than a decade to before the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in 2009. Turkey mobilized extremists from the group IHH to board the Mavi Marmara in 2010, for instance, to “break” the blockade of Gaza, an incident that led to a downward spiral in Turkish-Israeli relations.