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Attacks on Erdogan’s stance on Palestine ‘unjust, unfounded’, his party says

April 9, 2024 at 11:22 am

Turkish President and Leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at Sultanbeyli Kent Square in Istanbul, Turkiye on March 29, 2024 [Mustafa Kamacı – Anadolu Agency]

A spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party yesterday defended the president’s stance on Palestine, saying criticism of his approach is “unfair”, Anadolu reported.

“These attacks on Erdogan’s stance on Palestine are unjust, unfounded and unlawful,” Omer Celik said on X.

He pointed out that Erdogan’s diplomatic efforts to stop the ongoing Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip and his tireless efforts are known to the world, adding that “Erdogan has been the only leader who has expressed his opposition to the labelling of Palestinians as terrorists.”

“Our president received the appreciation of the Palestinian people and leaders on every occasion for this approach and actual support,” he continued.

He added that Erdogan has been “targeted” by prominent members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “for his fundamental support of Palestine”.

“Despite all the attacks he was subjected to throughout his political career, our president did not give up defending the Palestinian cause, even for a single moment. Even when he was politically banned,” Celik added.

Police detained scores of protestors demanding an end to the trade with Israel in Istanbul on Saturday. Authorities suspended two police officers involved in the incident, as the government works to restore popular support after a thumping opposition win in local elections last month.

Erdogan’s stance toward Israel and the conflict in Gaza was a key factor for some of his party’s losses in the vote, with the Islamist New Welfare Party (Yeniden Refah) increasing its support on the back of a more hardline stance on Gaza.

READ: Turkiye imposes export restrictions on Israel until Gaza ceasefire