Israel to Erdogan: You will not preach morality to us

Israel says Turkish President should not criticize the only democracy in the Middle East when he abuses human rights in his own country.

Gary Willig ,

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Israel's Foreign Ministry rejected criticism from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday evening and said that he had no right to criticize Israel given his own lackluster record on human rights issues.

"Whoever systematically violates human rights in his country should not preach morality to the only true democracy in the region. Israel adheres strictly to full freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians - and will continue to do so in spite of this baseless slander," the ministry said.

Erdogan had slammed Israel for its proposed Muzzen Bill and called on Muslims from around the world to go to the Temple Mount to show solidarity with the Palestinian Arabs and to protest what he called Israel's human rights abuses.

“The fact that such an issue is even coming to the agenda is shameful,” Erdogan said at the opening ceremony of the International Forum on al-Quds Waqf in Istanbul.

"The fact that those who talk about freedom of thought and faith at every opportunity actually approve this step by remaining silent is noteworthy. We will not allow the silencing of prayers from the heavens of Jerusalem,” he added.

Erdogan also called on the US to cease all discussions on the possibility of moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“The debates over the possibility of US moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem are extremely wrong and should certainly drop from the agenda,” Erdogan said.