Turkish president slams ‘tyrant’ Israeli premier

ANKARA (AA) Turkey’s president said the Israeli premier was a “tyrant massacring Palestinian children” on Wednesday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was in Ankara to attend a mass opening ceremony, slammed Benjamin Netanyahu for his remarks on Tuesday.

Erdogan also criticized Israel over its assault on the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, saying the Turkish nation would raise its voice for any attack against the mosque.

A senior aide to the Turkish president lashed out Wednesday at remarks by Israel’s prime minister targeting the Turkish leader.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Netanyahu attacked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “for exposing the Israeli leader’s racist remarks towards Arabs and Muslims”.

Netanyahu had said on Tuesday that Israel is “a nation state not of all its citizens but only of the Jewish people.”

Erdogan stated that Turkey will stand against every Israeli attack targeting Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Turkish people would not be silent, even if the rest of the world refused to speak. He said Turkey would maintain its struggle for Jerusalem until the city is administrated in a way that is appropriate with its importance to the Islamic world.

In addition, Erdogan warned Israel that Turkey would call it to account for its attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in front of the international community.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s foreign minister on Wednesday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of fueling discrimination and hate.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “@netanyahu helplessly tries to distract attention to hide his legal troubles on charges of bribery & fraud. Meanwhile, he fuels discrimination and hate against citizens of Israel, let alone Palestinians. Pathetic and shameful…”

On Tuesday, Netanyahu said Israel is “a nation state not of all its citizens but only of the Jewish people”.

Cavusoglu also responded to the words of Netanyahu’s remarks about the Turkish president.

Speaking at an event in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, Cavusoglu said Netanyahu is attacking President Erdogan because of his strong stance in leading his country and term presidency of the OIC.

Cavusoglu said Israeli soldiers entered Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem but nobody reacted against it except Turkey. “You know, there are 57 members of the OIC. Why are they silent?” Cavusoglu asked.

On Tuesday, Israeli police shut the Al-Aqsa compound on claims of an arson attack on an Israeli police station near the site, triggering clashes with angry Palestinians.

Around 16 Palestinians were injured in the violence, according to Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority.

Israeli police said its forces had arrested 10 Palestinians, including two minors, for allegedly setting the fire.

Tension has mounted in Jerusalem since last month, when Israeli police briefly sealed the Al-Aqsa compound’s Al-Rahma Gate, sparking angry Palestinian demonstrations.