One Turkey Sandwich, please

January 15, 2009

In News The Israel-Palestine Conflict

By News Agencies

Turkey’s prime minister on Friday said Israel should be barred from the United Nations while it ignores the body’s calls to stop fighting in Gaza.

“How is such a country, which does not implement resolutions of the UN
Security Council, allowed to enter through the gates of the UN (headquarters)?” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Erdogan spoke before UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrives in Ankara to discuss the conflict. His comments reflected a growing anger in Turkey, Israel’s closest ally in the Muslim world, over Israel’s Gaza operation.

Erdogan accused Israel of attacking civilians under the pretext of targeting the Islamic militant group of Hamas.

Erdogan has previously defended his outspoken criticism of Israel’s Gaza offensive, saying it did not mean he was anti-Semitic. However, the Turkish prime minister also remarked that the “Jewish-backed media” was falsely suggesting that Hamas uses civilians as human shields in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s offensive in Gaza entered its 21 day Friday, as the Israel Air Force attacked close to 40 targets in the coastal strip, while rockets fired from Gaza kept pounding southern Israel.

President Abdullah Gul on Friday renewed calls for an immediate cease-fire and also urged U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to focus on a comprehensive, long-lasting and fair solution once in office.