Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday accused Israel of being a “terror state” and said U.S. President Joe Biden is “writing history with blood on his hands” for signing a recent arms deal with the Israelis.
Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Erdogan said his government is prepared to offer “political and military support for international efforts to liberate Jerusalem and protect the Palestinian people.”
Other Turkish officials, including Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, have similarly proposed sending Turkish troops to intervene in Gaza as part of an international Muslim “protection force.”
“At this point, we believe there’s a need for a separate arrangement on Jerusalem. To achieve lasting peace and tranquillity in Jerusalem, which contains the indispensable religious symbols of Muslims, Jews, and Christians, everyone must make sacrifices,” Erdogan said.
“This terror state, that has encroached on the privacy of Jerusalem on the one hand, while ruthlessly bombarding civilians in Gaza and levelling a colossal building housing media groups on the other, is Israel,” Erdogan railed.
“But you are using disproportionate force, and you are dropping bombs on Gaza with your warplanes. Does Gaza have warplanes? No. Yours, with which you strike, are countless,” he continued, pressing the argument that Israel should not respond to massive, indiscriminate rocket barrages against civilian targets from Gaza because the Israeli military is so vastly superior to the Palestinian terror group Hamas.
Erdogan fulminated against Biden for signing off on an arms deal with Israel that would sell “850,000 very, very important weapons,” accusing Biden of hypocrisy because he also speaks of “disarmament.”
“Mr. Biden, you sided with the Armenians on the so-called Armenian genocide. Now, unfortunately, you are writing history with your bloody hands in these events of seriously disproportionate attacks on Gaza that have caused the martyrdom of hundreds of thousands of people,” the Turkish president said.
The Biden administration on Monday approved a $735 million sale of precision-guided weapons to Israel. Congressional representatives have a 15-day window to object to the sale, but the administration expects the deal to go through.
On April 24, a public holiday in Armenia dedicated to remembering the mass slaughter 106 years ago, Biden released a statement referring to the “Ottoman-era Armenian genocide” and commemorating its victims.
The Turkish government, which officially denies the genocide, said this acknowledgment would “open a deep wound that undermines our mutual trust and friendship.” Erdogan was, therefore, comparing Israel’s precise defensive response to Palestinian missile attacks to a century-old genocide he officially believes did not happen.
Erdogan, a notorious admirer of the Ottoman Empire, asserted that Middle Eastern history took a turn for the worse when the sultans fell. He said the Palestinian territories have been “awash with persecution, suffering, and blood, like many other territories that lost peace with the end of the Ottomans.”
Erdogan finished up with a crack at the Austrians for flying an Israeli flag from their Chancellery and Foreign Ministry, sneering the Austrians were “trying to make Muslims pay for the genocide to which it subjected the Jews” in World War II.
“Flying a flag of a terrorist state from an official building amounts to living under the projection of terrorism,” Erdogan charged.
The Austrian government summoned the Turkish ambassador on Tuesday to lodge a formal complaint about Erdogan’s comments.
“It won’t be possible to solve the Middle East conflict while foaming at the mouth,” Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg reprimanded Erdogan. “Instead of pouring oil on the fire, Turkey is urgently called on to contribute to de-escalation.”