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Turkey declares three days of mourning for Gaza victims

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told journalists on Monday that his government has declared three days of mourning for the Palestinian victims killed in Israel’s war on Gaza, Turkish news agency Anadolu reported.

After the government’s bi-weekly cabinet meeting, Arınç announced that the three days of mourning, which is aimed to support Gaza’s resistance against Israel, would start from Tuesday.

Despite growing calls for a halt to the two weeks of fighting, the violence against Gaza has raged on. Israeli jets, tanks and artillery have constantly pounded the densely populated coastal strip, killing at least 585 and wounding more than 3,650 others, most of them civilians.

Arınç, who is also the government’s spokesperson, said Ankara “curses the massacre” by Israel and its ruthless mass punishment against the Palestinian people.

He called upon Israel to immediately stop striking the Gaza Strip, noting that this is the official demand of the Turkish government. He reiterated that his country has been in contact with all sides aiming to reach a ceasefire.

The Turkish official said that the position of his country is to support the oppressed and stand beside their rights, not to back the strong. “We support the Palestinian cause and stand for it in all international institutions,” he said.

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