The President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan has branded Israel a terrorist state in an address before the Turkish Parliament on Wednesday.
Erdogan has repeatedly denounced Israel’s bombardment of Gaza since the conflict with Hamas militants started on October 7.
“With the savagery of bombing the civilians it forced out of their homes while they are relocating, it is literally employing state terrorism. I am now saying, with my heart at ease, that Israel is a terror state,” he said in the televised address.
He also regarded Hamas as a political party that was voted in by the Palestinian people, a report by Reuters stated.
“We will never shy away from voicing the truth that Hamas members protecting their lands, honour, and lives in the face of occupation policies are resistance fighters, just because some people are uncomfortable with it,” he continued.
The West, especially Britain, the United States, and the European Union however say Hamas is a terrorist group.
Erdogan condemned the Western allies, especially the United States, stating that they were still seeing the conflict in “backward” terms.
He has also called for the trial of Israeli leaders for war crimes before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
The Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7, after Hamas fighters broke through Israel’s borders, killed over 1,200 people, and took 240 others hostage.
Retaliatory attacks began on October 8 after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on the group.
According to Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Health, Israel’s bombardment and ground offensive have resulted in the deaths of 11,320 Palestinian civilians.
Countries like Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia have continued to call for a cease-fire, while the Western allies have cautioned Israel to minimise civilian casualties in the conflict.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu however slammed Erdogan, accusing him of supporting the “terror state of Hamas”.
Netanyahu said on X, formerly known as Twitter on Wednesday “By contrast, there are forces that support the terrorists.
“One of them is President Erdogan of Turkey, who calls Israel a terrorist state, but supports the terror state of Hamas and bombed Turkish villages inside Turkey itself. So, we’re not going to get any lectures from them.”