Turkish President Warns of Israeli Threat to Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint news conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Ankara, Turkey, Monday. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asserted that if Israel succeeds in defeating the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip, it will inevitably turn its attention toward Turkey. Erdogan, who has severed trade ties with Israel, maintained close relations with Hamas, and repeatedly criticized Israel and its leadership, including likening them to “Nazi” figures since the conflict ignited due to Hamas’s actions on Oct. 7.

Addressing his party lawmakers in the parliament in Ankara, Erdogan warned, “Do not assume that Israel’s ambitions will stop in Gaza. Unless halted, this rogue and terrorist state will inevitably target Anatolia sooner or later,” referring to the expansive Turkish peninsula also known as Asia Minor, constituting over half of Turkey’s territory. He reiterated Turkey’s support for Hamas, characterizing it as a defender of its homeland’s independence and Anatolia.

It’s noteworthy that Israel has never asserted any territorial claims over Turkey, and the basis of Erdogan’s claims remains unclear.

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