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Turkish President Erdogan Denounces Israel as ‘War Criminal’ Amid Escalating Gaza Crisis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched a scathing denouncement of Israel, declaring his intention to brand the nation a “war criminal” on the global stage. Speaking before a massive pro-Palestinian rally in Istanbul, Erdogan vowed to present Israel as an international pariah. The event drew hundreds of thousands, if not over 100,000, attendees.

Erdogan vehemently criticized the West for what he saw as the unjustifiable loss of innocent lives in Gaza. He asserted that Israel, as an “occupier,” is committing war crimes, insisting that while the West may owe Israel, Turkey does not.

In a provocative statement, Erdogan questioned whether the West was seeking to incite another Crusader War atmosphere. He placed blame squarely on Western powers for the unfolding Gaza tragedy, asserting that every country has the right to defend itself, but the current situation is an open and brutal massacre.

Erdogan also accused Western elites of masking their rhetoric in human rights language while failing to address the deepening crisis in Gaza. He contended that Israel is viewed as a regional pawn, destined to be sacrificed when deemed necessary.

Highlighting the devastating toll, the Palestinian Ministry of Housing reported that over several days of intensified Israeli airstrikes, 20,000 buildings and homes in Gaza have been reduced to rubble. Turkish media estimates that since October 7, more than 200,000 structures have been destroyed.

Erdogan’s fiery rhetoric has effectively halted plans for a reconciliation visit to Israel, where he was slated to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The longstanding tensions between Turkey and Israel over the Palestinian issue have been reignited in full force. Israel is likely to view Erdogan’s harsh statements as a major setback, even once the current crisis subsides.

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