Erdoğan accuses Israel of ‘extermination’ strategy in Gaza

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Israel of pursuing a strategy of extermination against the people of the besieged Gaza Strip and called it a “terror state.”

“Israel is implementing a strategy of total destruction of a city and its people by deliberately targeting schools, mosques, churches, hospitals, markets, buildings, and streets,” Erdoğan told members of his Islamic-conservative ruling AKP party in Ankara on Wednesday.

The sharp verbal attacks come shortly before the Turkish leader is to visit Berlin on Friday.

They follow previous statements from him criticising Israel and supporting the Islamist militant group Hamas, which, together with others, attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 and taking about 240 into Gaza as hostages.

Israel has retaliated with massive air strikes in Gaza and a major ground offensive.

Erdoğan further called Israel a “terror state” and accused it of carrying out “non-stop massacres” in Gaza with “limitless support from America and the Western countries.”

Israel, the United States, and the European Union have all declared Hamas a terrorist organisation but Erdoğan has called the group freedom fighters. (dpa/NAN)