Turkish President: ‘Netanyahu is a terrorist, Israel is a terrorist state’

Erdogan attacked Israel as “a terrorist state,” notwithstanding the widespread condemnation he has faced over the mounting death toll of Kurds killed by Turkish forces.

By: World Israel News Staff

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday over harsh criticism of Israel’s handling of violent rioting in Gaza, Erdogan shot back with a number of insults aimed at the head of the Jewish state.

Erdogan’s comments were apparently prompted by Netanyahu’s observation that the Turkish leader “is not used to being talked back to” or accustomed to being confronted for “occup[ying] North Cyprus, invad[ing] the Kurdish belt and butcher[ing] civilians in Afrin.” Netanyahu warned Erdogan that with a record such as this, he “should not preach to us about values and morality.”

Erdogan responded by calling Israel a “terrorist state and occupier” and Netanyahu a “terrorist.”

In the same comments, quoted in Turkey’s Daily Sabah, Erdogan directly mentioned his “Afrin operation,” a reference to Turkey’s attack on Kurdish forces in northern Syria which has drawn the ire of the international community.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 289 civilians have been killed since Ankara launched the Afrin offensive, with others estimating that casualties are closer to 500.

Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu spoke at a press conference in Paris alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, referring directly to Erdogan, “I am not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villages in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, who helps Iran go around international sanctions, and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, who kill innocent people. That is not the man who is going to lecture us.”