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17 April 2014, Thursday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Gül, Erdoğan lash out at Israel for ongoing Gaza assault

17 January 2009, Saturday /TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
President Abdullah Gül has said he is "ashamed on behalf of humanity" because of Israel's offensive against the Gaza Strip. "I feel ashamed on behalf of humanity about what's happening. I feel sadness about the world's silence and inability to secure a cease-fire in an environment where so many children have died," Gül said in Ankara.

Gül also expressed that Turkey has made "great efforts" to elicit a cease-fire. "Turkey has acted proactively as if these things would happen, but unfortunately they could not be prevented," he said. "Everyone should help to bring about a cease-fire. There would be great instability if the current situation goes on. That instability would be carried on to later generations."

The president said Turkey is doing everything it can on both a regional and United Nations level, in addition to helping transfer humanitarian aid to Gaza. "The situation is dangerous. All positive developments, from the Annapolis Conference to all the others, suddenly turned out to be useless. They have been destroyed," he said.

President Abdullah Gül has said he is "ashamed on behalf of humanity" because of Israel's offensive against the Gaza Strip.

"I feel ashamed on behalf of humanity about what's happening. I feel sadness about the world's silence and inability to secure a cease-fire in an environment where so many children have died," Gül said yesterday in Ankara.

Gül also expressed that Turkey has made "great efforts" to elicit a cease-fire. "Turkey has acted proactively as if these things would happen, but unfortunately they could not be prevented," he said. "Everyone should help to bring about a cease-fire. There would be great instability if the current situation goes on. That instability would be carried on to later generations."

The president said Turkey is doing everything it can on both a regional and United Nations level, in addition to helping transfer humanitarian aid to Gaza.

"The situation is dangerous. All positive developments, from the Annapolis Conference to all the others, suddenly turned out to be useless. They have been destroyed," he said. Gül also called out to the incoming US administration.

"Knowing that there are more than 1,000 dead and that one-third of these are children and allowing the situation to go on is very dangerous. Following a cease-fire, it is necessary to establish a system in which Palestine and Israel can live side by side and a Palestinian state can be established without further problems. There is much for the new American administration to do," he said. "From Afghanistan to Africa and Iraq, the underlying cause of the crisis in the world stems from Palestine."

He recalled Israel's attack on Beirut in 2006. "Such pains cannot be repeated every two years. Are we going to have something like this in two years? Neither the region nor the world can carry that weight."

Erdoğan: Lo teer tsakh

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Israel "not to kill" after Israeli forces shelled the UN headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, engulfing the compound in fire.

Reading from the Old Testament, Erdoğan recited the sixth of the Ten Commandments:

"In English 'You shall not kill,' in Hebrew 'Lo teer tsakh'." Calling Israel's recent attack against a UN building, "defying the world and mocking the world," Erdoğan asked, "How can such a country defying UN Security Council resolutions enter the doors of the UN?"

Speaking at his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) headquarters in Ankara, Erdoğan added that 10 wounded Palestinians from Gaza were brought to Turkey and that he had visited them. "Our Palestinians brothers are living under the threat of phosphorus bombs. We have a young woman who lost her 1-month-old baby. Nine people from her family have been martyred so far. But she told us, 'Even if we don't receive any food aid, we would take our nourishment from the leaves of the trees and would continue our struggle to the end'."

Erdoğan also stressed that Israeli soldiers target civilians rather than military command centers. "Israel hit the Palestine Red Crescent's hospital, a UN refugees' building and a building where members of the media were staying. How can we explain that? Even wars have to follow rules," he said.

The prime minister also claimed that the world's media is under the control of Israel. "If they broadcast or published objectively, then the issue would be seen from a different viewpoint [around the world], but everyone is silent in the face of this mercilessness."

Another point Erdoğan made was about the silence of the Islamic world, the United Nations and the European Union. He said he would voice his opinion about the issue during his visit to Brussels on Jan. 18-19.

"So far Israel has not complied with about 100 UN resolutions. They are used to it," he said.

Recalling that anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity, he mentioned that Jews had been "welcomed" in Turkey five centuries ago even though they had not been welcomed in Europe.

He also referred to a recent event in which members of the Federation of Osman Gazi Cultural Associations posed with placards on which they had written "No Jews or Armenians allowed here" and "Dogs allowed," apparently in response to the ongoing Israeli military offensive in Gaza.

"Everyone who is under the flag of this country is our first-class citizen. The Jewish citizens in my country have an honorable stance on this issue. All minorities, Armenians, Jewish people, Greeks and Christians are under the protection of the Turkish Republic and the government. It is not correct to emotionally attack such citizens of our country."

In the meantime, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, who returned to Turkey yesterday after completing a tour to Balkan countries, also directed criticisms at Israel for its ongoing assaults on Gaza. "Israel needs to see the red light from some countries," he said, adding that the priority issue for Turkey was the maintenance of a cease-fire in the region. "Everyone should see there is not even a single minute which can be lost [to act for Gaza]. Israel needs to get this message from some countries." 

 
 
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