Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned directly to the Jewish community in his country in his ongoing campaign against Israel.
While promising that Jewish citizens will not be harmed, Erdogan told a Turkish newspaper that they should denounce the Israeli military offensive in Gaza.
“Jews in Turkey are our citizens. We are responsible for their security of life and property,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency quoted remarks from Erdogan in the Daily Sabah.
He added: “I talked with our Jewish citizens’ leaders on Thursday and I stated that they should adopt a firm stance and release a statement against the Israeli government. I will contact them [Jewish leaders in Turkey] again, but whether or not they release a statement, we will never let Jewish people in Turkey get hurt.”
He said, according to the newspaper, that the Jewish leaders in Turkey should criticize “Israeli aggression,” and that the Israeli government “abuses all Jewish people around the world for its fraudulent policies.”
Erdogan also criticized the United Nations for being “silent” on the Gaza situation, claiming that Turkey has had problems bringing humanitarian aid to the region because of Israeli restrictions.
However, in an interview with CNN, Erdogan said that “If Israel is sincere about establishing a cease-fire, we will convince Hamas [to do the same].”