Turkey's Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has denounced the international campaign against recent remarks made by Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which the Prime Minister described Zionism as a "crime against humanity". Davutoglu said that Turkey has every right to criticise Israel and its founding ideology.
Speaking at a press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Davutoglu fielded a question about Turkey's "hostile remarks" towards Israel but denied that his country has ever issued random hostile statements against a state or a nation.
"However, if we are talking about states with a hostile attitude, then that could describe the bloody massacre on the high seas which led to the death of nine of our civilians who had not committed any crime," he retorted. This was a reference to the attack carried out by Israeli commandos against a humanitarian aid ship bound for Gaza in 2010. "Israel acted with hostility towards our citizens," added Davutoglu, "so we have a right to make such a comment."
Stressing that Turkey has always been opposed to anti-Semitism, the foreign minister pointed out that his country is at the forefront of countries in the fight against racism. "We will continue with this position, but if Israel wants positive statements from Turkey, it has to reconsider its policies."