Erdogan urges Islamic world to overcome divisions and unite against Israel

Erdogan urges Islamic world to overcome divisions and unite against Israel
Turkey has hosted an emergency Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting, in response to Monday's killing of at least 60 protesters in Gaza.
2 min read
18 May, 2018
Erdogan has called for an Islamic Summit to discuss Israel's mass killing in Gaza [Getty]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday urged the Islamic world to show greater unity in supporting the Palestinians, saying Muslim leaders needed to overcome divisions to combat Israel's "brutality".

Erdogan addressed thousands in a rally hours ahead of an extraordinary summit meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also called by him to denounce Israel's actions in Gaza and the moving of the US embassy for Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Erdogan has reacted with unbridled fury to the killing by Israeli forces on Monday of 61 Palestinians close to the Gaza border, accusing Israel of "genocide" and being run as an "apartheid state".

"The time has come to stand against Israel's tyranny," Erdogan told a sea of protesters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags.

"I invite all Muslims and all humanity to take action... against those who drag our region and the world into catastrophe with their religious fanaticism," he added.

Speaking at the opening of the summit, Erdogan compared Israel's actions against the Palestinians in Gaza to the Nazi persecution of the Jews in the Holocaust during World War II.

"There is no difference between the atrocity faced by the Jewish people in Europe 75 years ago and the brutality that our Gaza brothers are subjected to," he said, accusing Israel of using methods "similar to the Nazis".

Hours after the Istanbul demonstrations, the UN Human Rights Council voted to send a team of international war crimes investigators to probe the deadly shootings of Gaza protesters by Israeli forces.

Erdogan already staged an extraordinary meeting of the OIC in December last year to denounce US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Tensions continue between Turkey and Israel after Erdogan slammed Israel's massacre of 61 Palestinians saying Israel is carrying a "genocide" in Gaza.

Ankara recalled its envoy in Israel and expelled Israeli diplomats, while inviting turkish media to film Ambassador Eitan Naeh being subjected to prolonged security controls by at Istanbul airport as he was forced to leave the country.

Turkey's President Erdogan and Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also exchanged a very public war-of-words on Twitter on Monday.  

In response, Israel proposed to officially recognise the killing of over a million Armenians by Ottoman Turkey more than a century ago as an act of genocide.