Turkey rejects US claims of Erdogan's 'anti-Semitism'

Turkey rejects US claims of Erdogan's 'anti-Semitism'
The spokesman of Erdogan's AK Party rejected US accusations that the Turkish president made anti-Semitic remarks.
2 min read
Turkey and Israel formalised relations back in 1949 [Getty]

Turkey Wednesday rejected accusations by the United States that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made "anti-Semitic" remarks in his criticism of Israeli strikes in Gaza, his party's spokesman said. 

"Accusing our president of anti-Semitism is an illogical and untrue approach. This is a lie said about our president," Omer Celik commented in a series of tweets. 

The US State Department on Tuesday sharply criticised Erdogan for what it called "anti-Semitic" remarks.

"The United States strongly condemns President Erdogan's recent anti-Semitic comments regarding the Jewish people and finds them reprehensible," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

"We urge President Erdogan and other Turkish leaders to refrain from incendiary remarks, which could incite further violence," he said.

Erdogan, a vocal champion of the Palestinian cause during his 18-year rule, has fired salvos at Israel since the start of the violence in Gaza.

"They are murderers, to the point that they kill children who are five or six years old. They are murderers, to the point they drag women on the ground to their death and they are murderers, to the point they kill old people... They only are satisfied by sucking their blood," he said.

He has accused Israel of "terrorism" against the Palestinians and recently said, "it is in their nature."

Erdogan also lashed out at US President Joe Biden for his diplomatic support for Israel, saying the leader has "bloody hands."

At least 219 Palestinians, including 63 children, have been killed so far since Israel began a military assault on Gaza on 10 May, according to the health ministry in the besieged enclave.

Agencies contributed to this report.