Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned Israel’s bombings of Gaza on Wednesday as “shameful,” while refusing to condemn Hamas.
“Israel should not forget that if it acts more like an organization rather than a state, it’ll finish by being treated as such,” said Erdoğan.
“Bombing civilian sites, killing civilians, blocking humanitarian aid and trying to present these as achievements are the acts of an organization and not a state,” he added.
Previously on Sunday, Erdoğan refused to condemn Hamas, instead declaring his sympathy with the organization, saying, “It’s our responsibility to stand with the oppressed.”
In the same speech in which Erdoğan blasted Israel, he vowed to intensify bombings of Kurdish targets in Syria and Iraq. Since Thursday, Turkey has been bombing civilian and military targets in northeast Syria.
Turkey is targeting the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which has its base in northern Iraq.
In Syria, Turkey is targeting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) which, according to Turkey, is affiliated with the PKK and therefore considered a terrorist group by the Turkish government.
The YPG is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S. ally against the Islamic State.
According to Reuters: “In 2022, Turkey carried out at least 2,044 airstrikes in mostly Kurdish areas of Iraq and Syria, a 53% increase over the previous year and the highest number since ACLED [the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, a global research organization] began documenting strikes across the two countries in 2017. The figure is likely a conservative estimate because Reuters’ analysis excluded airstrikes that may have been conducted in battle.”
“Turkish forces carried out at least 6,000 airstrikes in mostly Kurdish areas in Syria and Iraq between 2018 and June 2023, with an estimated 6,500 total since 2016. The strikes have become more frequent and have reached deeper into Iraq and Syria in recent years,” Reuters added.
In addition to bombing Kurds, Turkey has close relations with the Hamas leadership.
While Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh does not live in the Gaza Strip, he reportedly leads a luxurious life, which he divides between Qatar and Turkey. In July, Haniyeh met with Erdoğan.
“Turkish President Erdoğan hosted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in his palace in Ankara on July 26, 2023. Many Hamas operatives are sheltered in Turkey. They raise funding with the government support and have invested in lucrative deals in multiple industries. Its senior figures are given close protection detail by the Turkish intelligence agency MIT,” wrote journalist and Director of Nordic Research Monitoring Network Abdullah Bozkurt on X, formerly Twitter.
According to Bozkurt, there has been a “surge in antisemitism” in Turkey recently.
“A surge in anti-Semitism in Turkey,” Bozkurt posted on X on Monday. “Shamefully fueled by gov't officials. Gharqad tree prophecy in which Muslims killing Jews in the end of times will soon be fulfilled, says Mustafa Ciftci, Turkish governor appointed by President Erdogan to rule eastern province of Erzurum.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.