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Turkish PM slams ‘silence’ of Muslim states on Gaza

PM Erdoğan delivers some of his strongest language to date on Gaza, accusing Israel of committing a ‘genocide’ in the besieged strip

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 17 accused Israel of attempting a “systematic genocide” of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in one of his strongest criticisms yet of the country.

“We have been witnessing this systematic genocide every Ramadan since 1948. The world remains silent because those who lost their lives are Palestinian,” Erdoğan told a meeting of Islamic scholars in Istanbul to mark Ramadan.

“Do you hear the voice of the United Nations? They are doing something only for a show. Is there executive action? No. Why was the United Nations established? For world peace. Does it make a contribution to world peace? What does it stand for? It serves only their secret purpose,” Erdoğan said, a day after slamming the world body over its inaction to Israeli strikes.

In the last few years, particularly since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, Erdoğan has grown increasingly vocal in his criticism of the U.N. for its failure to reach an agreement on how to respond to the bloody conflict in Turkey’s neighboring country. Both Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu have fiercely argued in favor of reform at the U.N. Security Council, which they describe as an unequal and unfair system that fails to reflect the will of most countries.

Still, having held one of the non-permanent seats of the council, the “Western European and Others” seat, in 2009-2010, Turkey is currently exerting intense efforts for the 2015-2016 period. An election on the matter will be held in October.

The prime minister also lashed out at the Islamic world. “When the West remains silent, the Islamic world watches too,” he said, calling on all sides to be moderate on Palestine. “We demand an immediate stop to the bloodshed . . . We are very much aware the Middle East deserves peace, prosperity, and solidarity,” he said.    

“What happens in Palestine is not Shiite vs. Sunnis; that is why the Islamic world keeps silent. Our children and brothers are dying in Palestine. Humanity has been destroyed there, as well as the honor of Muslims,” he told the audience at Dolmabahçe Palace.  

“Some Islamic countries are content with what is happening in Palestine today. If that is not the case, they will find themselves involved in the matter,” he said.


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