Erdogan: Losing a friend like Turkey would hurt Israel
In interview with Euronews, Turkish PM criticizes Israel's conduct in Gaza yet again, saying 'we cannot close our eyes when innocent civilians are ruthlessly killed, struck by phosphorus bombs, infrastructure is demolished in bombing and people are forced to live in an open-air prison'
"Israel should give some thought to what it would be like to lose a friend like Turkey in the future. The way they recently treated our ambassador has no place in international politics," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in the aftermath of the diplomatic crisis between Ankara and Jerusalem.
In an interview with Euronews, published Sunday, Erdogan spoke of Turkey's role in the stalled indirect negotiations between Israel and Syria and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent statement according to which he prefers France as a mediator.
"We have done our best for Israel-Syria relations. But now we see Benjamin Netanyahu saying ‘I do not trust Erdogan, but I trust (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy’. Do you have to give a name? This is diplomatic inexperience, too. Because when you say this… How can I trust you if you say you don’t trust me?
"We have important ongoing agreements between us. How can these agreements be kept going in this climate of mistrust? I think Israel had better take another look at its relations with its neighbors if it believes it is a world power," said the Turkish leader.
Addressing the Israeli Foreign Ministry's accusations that he had sparked the row by leveling harsh criticism at the IDF over its conduct during the war against Hamas in Gaza, Erdogan told Euronews, "I am telling the truth…And I will keep telling the truth. Turkey has an age-old history as a state. When you talk to such a state you must be careful.
"When innocent civilians are ruthlessly killed, struck by phosphorus bombs, infrastructure is demolished in bombing and people are forced to live in an open-air prison… we can not see this as compatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, simply human rights, and we can not close our eyes to all this happening," he said.