update deskIsrael at War

Erdoğan proclaims Netanyahu is ‘no different’ than Hitler

During the 2014 Israel-Hamas war, Erdogan said Jerusalem was “keeping Hitler’s spirit alive.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife, Emine, at a rally in Istanbul in support of Palestinians, Oct. 28, 2023. Source: Facebook/Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife, Emine, at a rally in Istanbul in support of Palestinians, Oct. 28, 2023. Source: Facebook/Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “no different” than Adolf Hitler due to Israel’s prosecution of the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“We watched Israel’s Nazi camps. What kind of job is this?” asked Erdoğan during a speech, according to a Channel 12 translation. “They talk about Hitler in a strange way. What is the difference between them and Hitler? They will make us miss Hitler even more,” he continued.

“The voice that stands with the oppressed is the voice of the Muslim Turks,” added Erdoğan.

In a statement shared by Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu slammed the Turkish leader for his support of “Hamas-ISIS, which committed crimes against humanity.

“Erdoğan, who is committing genocide against the Kurds, who holds a world record for imprisoning journalists who oppose his rule, is the last person who can preach morality to us,” stated the premier.

“The IDF is the most moral army and the world, which is fighting and destroying the most abhorrent terrorist organization in the world,” added Netanyahu.

During the 2014 Israel-Hamas war (“Operation Protective Edge”), Erdoğan also compared the Jewish state to Nazi Germany, saying Jerusalem was “keeping Hitler’s spirit alive.”

‘And your end is near … ’

Earlier this month, the Turkish president threatened that Netanyahu would be tried as a war criminal.

“Netanyahu, who is the butcher of Gaza right now, will be tried as the butcher of Gaza,” Erdoğan said in a speech to an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) committee meeting in Istanbul.

Since the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre, he has sided with the terrorist group and railed against Israel’s response to the mass slaughter of its citizens.

Erdoğan told his country’s parliament last month that Israel would soon be destroyed.

“Right now, I am openly saying with a clear conscience that Israel is a terrorist state,” he said.

While this comment was widely reported, his subsequent remarks went largely unnoticed.

“Hey Israel: You have an atomic bomb, a nuclear bomb. And you are making threats with this. We know this. And your end is near,” said Erdoğan.

“You can have as many nuclear bombs as you want, but you’re on your way out,” he added.

Days earlier, Erdoğan said at a mass rally in Istanbul that “Hamas is not a terrorist organization” but rather “a liberation group fighting to protect its lands.” He previously argued that Gaza’s rulers constituted “a group of mujahideen [‘jihadists’] defending their lands and people.”

Last month, Netanyahu slammed Erdoğan for supporting Hamas and bombing Turkish villages, in a likely reference to Ankara’s violent oppression of its Kurdish minority.

“So, we’re not going to take any lectures from them,” said Netanyahu.

After a long diplomatic cold spell, prior to Oct. 7 ties between Ankara and Jerusalem had been warming.

On Sept. 20, during a meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Netanyahu told Erdoğan that “our ties are improving,” and the two leaders agreed to continue advancing bilateral relations.

Netanyahu was expected to visit Turkey before December, becoming the first Israeli premier to do so since 2008. Erdoğan planned to visit the Jewish state in return, his office announced in late September.

However, he recently told lawmakers that he had dropped his planned trip to Jerusalem. “We had a project to go to Israel, but it was canceled; we will not go,” he said.

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