The President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, tagged Israel a terrorist state during an address before the Turkish Parliament on Wednesday.
Erdogan is one of the world leaders who has been vocal against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza since the conflict started in October.
“With the savagery of bombing the civilians it forced out of their homes while they are relocating, it is literally employing state terrorism. I am now saying, with my heart at ease, that Israel is a terror state,” he said in the televised address.
He also regarded Hamas as a political party that was voted in by the Palestinian people, Reuters reports.
We will never shy away from voicing the truth that Hamas members protecting their lands, honour, and lives in the face of occupation policies are resistance fighters, just because some people are uncomfortable with it,” he continued.
His statement is in sharp contrast to the rhetoric of several other world leaders, especially in the West. Britain, the United States, and the European Union all regard Hamas as a terrorist organisation.
In his speech, Erdogan tackled the Western allies, especially the United States, stating that they were still seeing the conflict in “backward” terms.
He has also called for the trial of Israeli leaders for war crimes before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
The Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7, after Hamas fighters broke through Israel’s borders, killed over 1,200 people, and took 240 others hostage. Retaliatory attacks began on October 8 after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on the group.
According to Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Health, Israel’s bombardment and ground offensive have resulted in the deaths of 11,320 Palestinian civilians.
Countries like Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia have continued to call for a cease-fire, while the Western allies have cautioned Israel to minimise civilian casualties in the conflict.