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Turkey’s President Criticizes Israel and Backs Hamas



Photo of Turkey's Erdogan
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. (AP File Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey lashed out at Israel and defended Hamas during a televised address on Wednesday, taking positions likely to increase tensions between his government and those of other NATO members, including the United States.

Erdogan accused Israel of deliberately attacking civilians in Gaza and killing large numbers of children, women and older people.

“This picture alone is enough to show that the aim here is not self-defense, but savagery to commit the premeditated act of crime against humanity,” he said.

Mr. Erdogan also criticized Western countries for their strong backing of Israel and for branding Hamas, the armed Palestinian group that controls Gaza, as a terrorist organization.

“Hamas is not a terror organization,” he said. “It is an organization of liberation, of mujahedeen, who fight to protect their land and citizens,” Erdogan said.

Read more at The New York Times

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