October 13, 2009

'Hear the voice of the oppressed'

Press TV - Oct 2009 22:57:26 GMT

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The Turkish prime minister has criticized the international community for seeking to incriminate Islam while Israel was committing war crimes in Gaza.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was addressing a meeting held by the country's Presidency of Religious Affairs, said, "We have to hear the voice of the oppressed,"

"Iraq was occupied…Baghdad and Basra were bombarded while the attacks were televised live. Phosphorous bombs were dropped on the innocent children of Gaza in the same way, while the whole world, all of humanity, watched from their comfortable seats and safe homes," Erdogan said.

At the same time, certain elements tried to blame Islam and tried to give the impression Muslims were responsible in the international arena, he added.

The comments came amid mounting tension between Israel and Turkey, after Ankara canceled a military exercise with Israel in condemnation of the Gaza war, which left over 1,400 Palestinians dead and thousands others injured.

Turkey informed Israel of the cancellation of the Anatolian Eagle exercise last week, the Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.

The US, Italy, and NATO air forces were also to participate in the air force drill, which was to be held this week.

"We, of course, find this decision, which has been taken because of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, as positive... And the cancellation of these exercises makes us happy," added Erdogan.

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