Turkey to declare three days of mourning over deadly Gaza hospital strike

Turkey to declare three days of mourning over deadly Gaza hospital strike
Turkey said it will pay its respects to the victims of the Al-Ahli Hospital strike - blamed on Israel - by carrying out three days of mourning.
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Turks have gone on to decry the Al-Ahli hospital bombing by staging protests and declaring three days of mourning [Getty]

Turkey will declare three days for mourning over a deadly Israeli strike on a hospital in war-torn Gaza which killed hundreds, a Turkish official told AFP on Wednesday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Israel of "striking a hospital sheltering women, children and innocent civilians" and urged the world to stop the tragedy in Gaza.

"Turkey will declare three days national mourning," the official who wished to remain anonymous told AFP.

At least 471 people have been killed in the strike on Al-Ahli hospital in the besieged Gaza enclave, which has been relentlessly bombarded since October 7 by Israel, in retaliation for a cross-border attack carried out by Hamas.

Israeli strikes have killed at least 3,478 Palestinians so far, wounding 13,000. One million Palestinians are also faced with displacement in the coastal enclave amid water, fuel and food cuts.

Ozlem Zengin of Erdogan's ruling AKP party said that the national mourning would be declared under a presidential decree.

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"It is important to show at what level we perceive this issue," she was quoted as saying by the private NTV broadcaster.

Erdogan on Tuesday condemned the strike as "the latest example of Israeli attacks devoid of the most basic human values", in a message on social media.

AKP party spokesman Omer Celik said Turkey's declaration of three days' mourning would a show of solidarity with the innocent Palestinians in Gaza.

"We share the same pain, the same sorrow," he told reporters at a weekly press conference. He accused Israel of the strike on the hospital, he said.

Large crowds joined demonstrations in Istanbul and the Turkish capital Ankara late Tuesday, shouting pro-Palestinian chants. Similar protests have also taken place in Tunisia, Jordan and Iran following the hospital attack.

Israel has told its citizens to leave Turkey "as soon as possible" amid fears of reprisal attacks.