Last updated: 19 November, 2012

Turkish prime minister labels Israel terrorist state over Gaza

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the United Nations on Monday of failing to act over the deadly Israeli air bombardments of Gaza, calling Israeli a “terrorist state” that “massacres innocent children”.

He accused the UN Security Council of “turning a blind eye” to the suffering of Muslims across the world and called for “sincere action” to end Israel’s strikes on Gaza, where 90 Palestinians died since violence erupted on Wednesday, while three Israelis have been killed in militant rocket fire.

The international community is watching “as Israel violently massacres innocent children in Gaza,” Erdogan said in an address to religious leaders of Muslim countries gathered in Istanbul, labelling Israel “a terrorist state”.

Erdogan emerged as a staunch advocate of the Palestinian cause in January 2009, when he stormed out of a Davos panel over Israel’s blockade of the impoverished Gaza Strip.

Ties between Ankara and Tel Aviv were further strained after Israeli commandos raided a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla in the Mediterranean in May 2010, killing nine Turks on board.

Erdogan also said he did not trust the United Nations.

“The fate of seven billion people hangs the words of leaders of five countries,” he said, complaining about a lack of representation for Muslim countries on the UN Security Council.

“If you ask me how much I trust the UN, well, I don’t,” Erdogan said.

“It is a structure created under war conditions, its manifestation today is not fair, the structure is just not fair.”