Erdogan Goes On Israeli TV to Accuse Jewish State of ‘Barbarism’

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The Times of Israel reports: In his first interview with the Israeli press in over a decade, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday slightly walked back a 2014 assertion that Israel’s military offensive in Gaza was more barbaric than Hitler, but made no apology for invoking the Nazi leader’s name in the context, said he was “well aware” of the sensitivities, and again condemned Israel’s “barbarism” against the Palestinians.

Erdogan spoke to Channel 2’s Ilana Dayan in Turkish in a sweeping, and frequently tense, interview that covered Israel-Turkey relations, the Gaza Strip and the failed coup attempt in Turkey over the summer. The interview, apparently intended to mark a new, warming era in bilateral ties, began politely, but later featured passages where Erdogan, seething, leveled bitter criticism at Israel, especially regarding its policies on the Palestinians. At one point in the interview, Erdogan snapped at Dayan, and told her she couldn’t pressure him and wouldn’t be able to maneuver him “into a corner.”

“I don’t agree with what Hitler did and I also don’t agree with what Israel did in Gaza. Therefore there’s no place for comparison in order to say what’s more barbaric,” Erdogan said when reminded of his 2014 comments.

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