By: TRT WORLD
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that both German President Steinmeier and Chancellor Scholz seem to be particularly concerned about only the situation with Hamas, in that they attribute the recent developments, solely to the Hamas attack on October 7, instead of considering the situation as a whole.
“In response, we made it clear to them that we consider Israel to be a terrorist state” Turkish President Erdogan said as he answered journalists’ questions on his return flight from Germany on Saturday, where he met his German officials to discuss Israel’s attacks on Gaza, as well as Turkish-German relations.
He reminded that 13,000 children, women, and elderly people have been killed in Palestine, while 100-200 deaths on the Israeli side has been presented as the summary of the whole picture.
Erdogan criticised the fact that Israel’s actions are justified in every case and provided with unlimited support by the Western countries.
“Ultimately, they view Israel’s actions as self-defence but do not see the resistance of Palestine as self-defence,” he said.
“They displaced the Gaza population from north to south, and they bomb from the air, sea, and land on all sides. The prevailing ideology in the region, starting from Theodor Herzl and continuing to this day, is to eliminate and erase Palestinians from those lands,” he added.
Combatting with disinformation
Referring to the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003 with the false pretext of weapons of mass destruction, he said, “Today, Israel is attempting to legitimise its aggression and occupation similarly through various lies.”
“They are making efforts to cover up the war crimes they have committed in Gaza with fabricated excuses. Israel has committed these crimes deliberately, not unknowingly or by mistake. All massacres have been meticulously planned, specifying how and where women, men, and children would be killed,” he added.
Urging about the disinformation happening since October 7, “They have moved beyond disseminating lies through social media users and are now using their official statements to propagate untruths,” President Erdogan said.
Being effective since October 7, the Disinformation Combat Center within the Communication Directorate, exposed the lies told by Israeli officials, shared the truth internationally, and uncovered more than 100 lies spread by Israeli authorities, President Erdogan explained to the journalists.
“We are unmasking Israel and building significant international pressure against them. Israel’s statements no longer circulate easily in the media. We have directly exposed over 100 lies shared and stated by Israeli officials, ensuring they become news in the international media,” he added.
Cancer patients brought to Türkiye
Several cancer patients where evacuated from Gaza and they departed from a military airport in northeastern Egypt for treatment in Türkiye on Wednesday.
The diagnoses of the 27 patients from Gaza who were brought to Türkiye have been confirmed, and their treatments are ongoing, according to the statement made by Türkiye’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Saturday.
With regards to the issue, President Erdogan said, “We are taking numerous steps for Gaza, with our primary focus being on healthcare initiatives. The arrival of 27 cancer patients in our country is just a fraction of the issue; the actual number of patients is much higher. There are already hundreds in need of surgical intervention.”
“Our hospitals are available. Just let us evacuate them, as long as they permit. Let’s bring them to our hospitals, provide treatment, and send them back,” he added.
Aid to the besieged Gaza
President Erdogan emphasised the importance of a lasting peace, saying “The most appropriate step for Gaza is an immediate ceasefire, and our priority will be to establish lasting peace along with the ceasefire. Once a ceasefire is achieved, we will do whatever it takes for Israel to compensate for the destruction it has caused.”
“We will strive to rebuild the damaged infrastructure in Gaza, making efforts to reconstruct schools, hospitals, and water and energy facilities,” he added
As Gaza has been under dire humanitarian crisis since October 7, “Keeping the Rafah border crossing open is of utmost importance. It has become a lifeline for Gaza, sustaining the civilians and innocent lives there,” he said.
“Our aid, though limited, manages to reach our brothers and sisters there. Israel attempts to obstruct this assistance, condemning Gaza to hunger and thirst, sometimes blocking the passage of aid.”
He reiterated the Turkish state maintained engagement with international aid organisations and the United Nations to ensure aid flow into Gaza.
Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons
Urging that since Israel is not a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, it is not initially bound by its rules, he said, “Member countries can request a verification mechanism by the International Atomic Energy Agency for nuclear security. We are currently initiating this process.”
“Advancing this matter is crucial for balancing strategic interests in the region. We will continue to exert pressure from here. We, as Türkiye, are making this call. Israel’s nuclear weapons must be thoroughly inspected without delay. We will follow up on this. I appeal to the global public to not let this matter be forgotten,” he added.
Hostages held by Hamas and Israel
As hostage crisis continues, President Erdogan weighed in on the issue, “Hamas is already stating their conditions, which include the release of unlawfully detained children, mothers, and fathers by the Israeli side. It is distressing to consider that the Israeli government has reached a point where they detain children as young as 5 years old.”
“Israel’s approach in Gaza seems to be indiscriminate killing, including its own citizens,” he added, emphasising Israeli families have lost their hope in their own government.
When asked if Germany was ready to commit to selling Eurofighter jets to Ankara, Erdogan stated that the Chancellor Scholz “did not get involved in this matter at all.”
“In other words, he did not comment on whether they would give or not give the Eurofighter. We have already given our answer clearly. If they give us these planes, they give them; if they don’t, do we have no other doors to knock on? We have plenty,” Erdogan said, underlining that Türkiye had plenty of alternatives in case the Eurofighter deal fell through.
He reminded that before when the US did not provide Türkiye with air defence systems, Ankara turned to Russia and acquired the S400’s.
With regards to Turkish-Greek relations, Erdogan expressed his desire for improving them. “We want to reduce enemies and increase friends; hopefully, we will take this step. It is quite normal for the interests of the two important and neighbouring countries in the region to be in the same direction,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan stated that by prioritising bilateral dialogue, there would be no problems that they cannot solve in the region.
SOURCE: TRTWORLD AND AGENCIES