ADANA, Turkey – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel was “a terror state” and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “a terrorist” on Sunday from the city of Adana.
“I do not need to tell the world how cruel the Israeli army is. We can see what this terror state is doing by looking at the situation in Gaza and Jerusalem,” Erdogan said, according to the Daily Sabah newspaper. “Israel has carried out a massacre in Gaza and Netanyahu is a terrorist.”
Netanyahu responded that “Erdogan is not used to someone answering him back – he should get used to it. Anyone who occupies Northern Cyprus, invades the Kurds and massacres civilians in Afrin shouldn’t lecture us on morality and values.”
Netanyahu blasted Erdogan earlier on Sunday, saying that the Israeli military “will not be lectured by someone who for years is bombing civilian populations indiscriminately.”
Erdogan attacked his critics as well saying that “I have not heard worthy opposition to the Israeli massacre in Gaza from those who criticized the operation in Afrin,” he said, referring to Turkish invasion of the in the formerly Kurdish-controlled enclave in northwest Syria.
However, despite the rhetoric between the two leaders since Israel killed 15 Palestinians over the weekend in Gaza, both Turkey and Israel enjoy strong economic relations, including Israeli Defense Force boots being manufactured in Turkey at the height of hostilities after the flotilla incident in 2010.