Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, shed a tear on Thursday upon hearing a poem, euronews reports.
The poem, written by senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohammed al-Baltagy following the death of his 17-year-old daughter during the protests in Cairo, provoked an emotional response from Erdogan on television. The Turkish premier, known for his strongman image, could be seen wiping his eyes and seemed to be speechless when interviewed after having heard the poem.
“Once, my daughter asked me to spend one night at home with her but I was working hard and could not spare time for her…I saw my own children in al-Baltagy’s letter,” he said, according to euronews.
In 2010 Erdogan cried on camera at the deaths of children in Gaza at which time there was some comment in Turkey about why he did not do the same when Kurdish children were killed.
His wife, Emine Erdogan, also cried on camera during a 2012 visit to Myanmar’s western Rakhine state where she met with members of the Rohingya ethnic group, a heavily persecuted minority.
Erdogan sparked outrage this week when he accused Israel of being behind the removal of former President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian military.
Erdogan told members of his AKP party that “Israel is behind the coup in Egypt, we have evidence.”
He reportedly cited an unnamed French intellectual who he claims said in 2011 that the Muslim Brotherhood won’t be in power even if they are elected because “democracy is not the ballot box.”
Erdogan stressed that the intellectual was Jewish, the implications of which are consistent with a long string of anti-Semitic comments and conspiracy theories issued by the Islamist Prime Minister, whose party is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egypt later warned Turkey that it was losing its patience over Erdogan’s remarks, saying the comments aimed to divide Egyptians.
"The cabinet stresses that Egypt's patience is wearing thin," said Egyptian ministers.
MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) hit back at Erdogan's comments on Israel, comparing him to Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels.
"Anyone who heard Erdogan's hate filled rhetoric and statements of incitement understands beyond any doubt that this is a person who continues in the footsteps of Goebbels. His libels are like those of the Dreyfus trial and the Elders of Zion," said Lieberman.
The White House also condemned Erdogan's claim. Spokesman Josh Earnest said his comments were "offensive and unsubstantiated and wrong."
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)