Erdogan: Israel is a 'Terrorist State'
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday called Israel a "terrorist state" that "massacres innocent children,” AFP reported.
Erdogan also accused the United Nations of failing to act over Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, which is aimed at destroying Hamas’ terror infrastructure in Gaza.
He accused the UN Security Council of "turning a blind eye" to the suffering of Muslims across the world and called for "sincere action" to end Israel's strikes on Gaza.
The international community is watching "as Israel violently massacres innocent children in Gaza," Erdogan said in an address to religious leaders of Muslim countries gathered in Istanbul, labeling Israel "a terrorist state".
He also said he did not trust the United Nations.
"The fate of seven billion people hangs the words of leaders of five countries," he said, complaining about a lack of representation for Muslim countries on the UN Security Council.
"If you ask me how much I trust the UN, well, I don't," Erdogan said. "It is a structure created under war conditions, its manifestation today is not fair, the structure is just not fair."
On Saturday, Erdogan said that Israel was "making an international racket" over civilians killed by Hamas rockets.
"It's a tactic of Israel's to point the finger at Hamas and attack Gaza," Erdogan told reporters.
"Israel continues to make an international racket with its three dead," he said of the three residents of Kiryat Malachi killed by a direct rocket hit on an apartment. "In fact it is Israel that violated the ceasefire."
Turkey’s already strained relations with Israel broke down completely following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident. The vessel, owned by the Turkish IHH group, was one of six sent to illegally breach Israel's maritime blockade of Gaza as a “humanitarian flotilla” but was found to be carrying nothing.
When the vessels ignored repeated Israeli navy requests to redirect their boats to Ashdod port, IDF commandos boarded each vessel to force them to port, where the humanitarian aid they were allegedly carrying could be off-loaded and carried to Gaza through the land crossings with Israel.
In the case of the Mavi Marmara, however, the Israeli soldiers – armed only with pistols and paint-ball training guns – were brutally attacked by the “activists” as they boarded, with several critically injured. The commandos who followed them shot and killed their attackers, leaving nine dead.
Turkish leaders demanded an apology for the incident, but Israeli leaders refused, saying Israel had acted in self-defense.
Turkey has also demanded compensation for the families of victims and the lifting of the Gaza blockade.
Israel has many times reached out to Turkey to normalize ties but Turkey says all three demands must be realized to restore relations.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently told Turkish journalists that Israel is ready to solve any outstanding disputes with Turkey, but it will not apologize to Ankara for the raid on the Marmara.