Turkey's Erdogan condemns Israel over Gaza


Associated Press

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan intensified his fiery rhetoric against Israel over its ground invasion of Gaza on Friday, accusing the country of state terrorism and genocide and saying the two countries will not mend ties on his watch.

Earlier, hundreds of protesters pelted the top Israeli diplomat's residence in Ankara with stones, and the private Dogan news agency said police in Istanbul used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters trying to enter the Israeli Consulate grounds. Turkish legislators leaving a late-night debate in parliament also protested against Israel.

Turkey intensified security around Israeli missions but the demonstrations prompted Israel to call home the families of Israeli diplomats and to keep staff in the embassy and consulate to a minimum.

Tzachi Moshe, a spokesman for Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, said Israel "sharply protested the flagrant violation of diplomatic rules."

Erdogan told reporters after Muslim Friday prayers: "Israel threatens world peace. Israel threatens peace in the Middle East. Therefore, I personally, can never contemplate anything positive with Israel as long as I remain on duty."

"Israel is at the moment waging terrorism; Israel at the moment is carrying out genocide," he said.

Turkey and Israel had been working toward improving ties that were soured after Israeli commandos stormed a pro-Palestinian aid ship in 2010, killing eight Turks and one Turkish-American. Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and recalled its own top envoy following the incident.

Israel apologized to Turkey for the deaths and agreed to pay compensation under a U.S.-brokered arrangement in 2013. Turkish officials said in March the sides were close to reaching a compensation deal that would lead to a restoration of ties.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the department believes Erdogan's statements are "offensive and wrong."

"And, of course, this kind of provocative rhetoric is unhelpful and distracts from urgent efforts to bring about a cease-fire," she said.

Tia Goldenberg in Jerusalem and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed.

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

A man stands amidst the damage from a rocket fired from Gaza which landed in the middle of a residential neighborhood in the city of Kiryat Gat, Israel, Thursday, July 31, 2014. An Israeli was seriously wounded when a Palestinian rocket exploded in the residential area of the city. Another rocket was intercepted over Tel Aviv by Israel's rocket defense system. Israeli attacks on Gaza continued today, killing many people.

    Heavy Gaza fighting ahead of proposed 3-day truce

    Palestinian officials say 17 Palestinians, including 10 members of one family, were killed in Israeli strikes ahead of a planned three-day cease-fire in the Gaza war.

  • Survey: China manufacturing at 27-month high

    Chinese manufacturing rose to the highest level in more than two years in July in the latest sign that the world's No. 2 economy is perking up after a series of mini-stimulus measures unleashed by authorities.

  • Officials: US citizen killed by bandits in Haiti

    An American citizen of Haitian descent was killed last week by armed robbers shortly after arriving in her impoverished Caribbean homeland to visit relatives, friends and officials said Thursday.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category