update deskIsrael at War

Turkey’s Erdoğan: Netanyahu would ‘make Hitler jealous’

Turkey was in "constant contact" with and supports Hamas, which is not a terrorist group, said the Turkish leader.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (left) and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meet in Istanbul, April 20, 2024. Source: Turkish Presidency/X.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (left) and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meet in Istanbul, April 20, 2024. Source: Turkish Presidency/X.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has reached a level that would make Hitler jealous with the genocidal methods he has put forward.”

In an interview with Greece’s Kathimerini outlet, the Turkish leader described the Gaza Strip as an “open-air prison, not just after Oct. 7, but for years before, like a concentration camp.”

In March, Erdoğan claimed that the Israel Defense Forces “continues to commit massacres against the Palestinian people,” adding, “Netanyahu and his administration, with their crimes against humanity in Gaza, are writing their names next to Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, like today’s Nazis.”

The Turkish leader also expressed his support for Hamas, claiming his government was in “constant contact” with the terror group’s leadership.

“Hamas is not a terrorist organization, but rather a resistance, and we stand firmly behind them and [are] in constant contact with its leaders,” he said. “We cannot be coerced into designating Hamas as a terrorist organization. We communicate with them openly and stand behind them.”

Netanyahu blasted the Turkish leader over the remarks, saying, “Israel observes the laws of war and will not be subject to moral preaching from Erdoğan, who supports [the] murderers and rapists of the Hamas terrorist organization, denies the Armenian genocide, massacres Kurds in his own country and cracks down on regime opponents and journalists.”

Erdoğan has made a habit of comparing Netanyahu and Israel to Hitler and the Nazis. In December, the Turkish president said Netanyahu is “no different” than Hitler.

“What is the difference between them and Hitler? They will make us miss Hitler even more,” he said.

Last week, Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Erdoğan of acting like a “dictator” by blocking the country’s ports to Israeli imports and exports as part of a trade war.

“This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements,” tweeted Katz.

Erdoğan’s government, which openly supports Hamas in its war against Israel, announced export restrictions a month ago, saying that they would apply to 54 categories of goods and last until a ceasefire is declared in Gaza.

Katz also severely criticized Ankara towards the end of April for inviting Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’s “political” bureau, to stay in the country.

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

Tensions between the two countries were further aggravated recently when a Turkish terrorist carried out an attack in Jerusalem.

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