ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday (Nov 29) branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “the butcher of Gaza” and accused him of spawning anti-Semitism across the world.
Erdogan has lashed out repeatedly at Israel for the scale of death and destruction caused by its response to Hamas militants’ unprecedented Oct 7 cross-border attack.
He has branded Israel a “terrorist state” and called Hamas “a liberation group”.
Erdogan redoubled those attacks during an appearance before his Islamic-rooted ruling party members in parliament.
“Netanyahu has already written his name in history as the butcher of Gaza,” Erdogan said in nationally televised remarks.
“Netanyahu is endangering the security of all Jews in the world by supporting anti-Semitism with the murders he committed in Gaza.”
Erdogan’s sharp rhetoric has threatened to rupture Türkiye’s budding relations with Israel.
The two sides last year reappointed ambassadors following a decade-long rupture in ties.
They had also been discussing developing closer trade relations and working on new energy projects that could have helped build longer-term trust.
The Gaza war prompted Israel to recall all diplomatic staff from Türkiye and other regional countries as a security precaution.
Türkiye has also withdrawn its Tel Aviv envoy in protest at Israel’s approach.