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Netanyahu or Hitler, no difference, said Erdogan

Erdogan further emphasised Netanyahu's wealth and Western backing, said that such support had resulted in the death of over 20,000 people

Netanyahu or Hitler, no difference, said Erdogan

On Wednesday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shares similarities with Adolf Hitler. Erdogan went further, likening Israel’s actions in Gaza to the atrocities committed by the Nazis against the Jewish people. Despite being a NATO member and advocating for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Turkey strongly criticized Israel’s air and ground assault on Gaza, condemning it as a “terror state” and calling for the leaders to face international legal scrutiny.

In repeating his rhetoric, Erdogan expressed that Turkey would provide refuge to academics and scientists facing persecution for their perspectives on the Gaza conflict. He accused Western nations supporting Israel of complicity in what he deemed as war crimes. Erdogan questioned the morality of the support Israel receives, stating, “They used to speak ill of Hitler. What difference do you have from Hitler? Is what Netanyahu is doing any less than what Hitler did?”

Erdogan further emphasised Netanyahu’s wealth and Western backing, said that such support had resulted in the death of over 20,000 people. Despite these strong statements, there was no immediate response from Israel.

Israel continues its operation

The context of Erdogan’s remarks lies in Israel’s massive military campaign on the Gaza Strip, launched in response to a cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7. According to local health authorities, the campaign led to the death of at least 21,110 Palestinians, primarily women and children, and left 55,243 others injured. Gaza now faces widespread devastation, with 60% of its infrastructure damaged or destroyed, and nearly 2 million people displaced amid severe shortages of food, clean water, and medicines.

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Despite the intense criticism of Israel’s actions, Turkey has maintained commercial ties with the country. This stance has sparked opposition within Turkey and drawn backlash from political parties and Iran. Ankara contends that trade with Israel has significantly decreased since the cross-border events on October 7, which triggered Israel’s military response against Hamas.