Turkey cannot accept Israel’s policy of depopulating Gaza: President Erdogan

By Anadolu Agency

Turkey cannot accept Israel’s policy of depopulating the Gaza Strip, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, reiterating that Israel is a “terror state.”

“We cannot and will not tolerate the policy of the State of Israel, which has grown by constantly occupying, seizing land and massacring the oppressed, to render Gaza uninhabited,” Erdogan said at the Algeria-Turkey Business Forum.

Erdogan paid a one-day visit to the capital Algiers to meet with his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune and to attend the second meeting of the Turkey-Algeria High-Level Cooperation Council, where the presidents also discussed Israel’s ongoing attacks on Gaza.

“The attacks, in which more than 13,000 of our Palestinian brothers were martyred, have once again revealed the true face, intention and purpose of Israel and its supporters.

“In this regard, it is very important that the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israeli rulers are not left without sanctions,” Erdogan said.

All “conscientious” countries, along with the Islamic World, have a responsibility to ensure that Israel does not attempt “similar atrocities” again, he said, stressing: “We need to know this once and for all. Israel is a terrorist state. There is no need to hesitate to say this. This is the truth we know. This is the case.”

Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the tribunal based in The Hague, Erdogan said.

“Netanyahu is a goner. Even the Israeli people no longer support Netanyahu,” he said, adding Turkey will not allow the issue of nuclear weapons and atomic bombs, whose existence is denied by Israeli ministers, to be forgotten.

“Israel, tell whether you have an atomic bomb or not. (It) Can’t say. But look, we say it. Israel, you have the atomic bomb

“We will take initiatives both before the UN Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on this issue, which threatens the security of the entire region, including Turkey,” Erdogan added.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks in the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7.

Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques and churches, have been damaged or destroyed in the Israeli offensive.

An Israeli blockade has also cut off Gaza from fuel, electricity and water supplies and reduced aid deliveries to a trickle.

– Bilateral ties with Algeria

Erdogan said recently accelerated contacts and visits are adding significant momentum to bilateral relations between Turkey and Algeria.

The bilateral trade volume reached a record $5.3 billion in 2022, he said, adding: “Hopefully, we will reach the $6 billion level by the end of the year.”

Around 1,400 companies with Turkish partners operating in Algeria provide employment to approximately 5,000 Algerians, he noted.

“The market value of our companies’ investments has approached $6 billion. With these figures, Turkey is the country that makes the most investments and provides the most employment in Algeria, excluding oil and natural gas,” Erdogan said.

Turkey is also pleased with the Algerian investments in the country, he added, stressing that Ankara will continue to provide the necessary facilities for Algerians to increase their investments in Turkey.