Israel withdraws diplomats from Turkey in response to President Erdogan’s remarks on Gaza

ANKARA / TEL AVIV / WASHINGTON — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent comments on the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have sparked a series of international responses, with Israel reconsidering diplomatic relations and the US emphasizing its labelling of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Turkish President Erdogan’s statements regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza have triggered reactions on the international stage, highlighting a complex diplomatic landscape.

In a public address during a mass rally expressing support for Hamas, calling it a “liberation movement”, Erdogan voiced solidarity with Gaza and the Palestinian people while criticizing Israel’s actions in the region as “war crimes”, drawing international attention.

In response to Erdogan’s remarks, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced plans to recall Israeli diplomatic representatives from Turkey for a reassessment of Israeli-Turkish relations.

Meanwhile, US National Security spokesperson John Kirby addressed Erdogan’s comments during an interview with Voice of America Radio, stating that Erdogan’s opinions on Hamas do not reflect the official stance of the US or the international community. Kirby emphasized that President Biden has been unequivocal about the threat posed by Hamas to Israel, indicating that differing views on Hamas’ status as a terrorist organization will not alter US and international policies.

Observers point out the paradox in Erdogan’s position, as he criticizes Israeli actions in Gaza while being criticized for Turkish military operations that have led to civilian casualties and infrastructure damage in North and East Syria. This dichotomy raises questions about Erdogan’s authority to denounce Israel’s actions amidst Turkey’s own controversial military involvement.