The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Erdogan in tense talks in Germany as divisions over Gaza war deepen

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was on a brief and tense visit to Germany amid deep differences between the two NATO allies over the war in Gaza. Erdogan has called Israel a “terror state” and pointed to its Western allies, including Germany, for supporting the military’s “massacres” in Gaza. On Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz underlined Israel’s right to defend itself. “Our solidarity with Israel is not up for discussion,” he said at a joint news conference with Erdogan. “We don’t owe anything to Israel, so we can speak freely,” Erdogan said, referring to Germany’s responsibilities in the Holocaust and how Berlin can influence its relationship with Israel. “If we were in debt, we could not talk so freely. But those who are in debt cannot talk freely,” he said. The Turkish leader also lashed out at Israel over its relentless air and ground offensive in Gaza, saying that attacks on children and hospitals had no place in the Jewish holy book. “Shooting hospitals or killing children does not exist in the Torah, you can’t do it,” Erdogan told reporters. Ismail Thawabta, the director general of the government media office in Gaza, told reporters on Friday that the total number of Palestinians killed since the war broke out on October 7 has exceeded 12,000, including 5,000 children. This was Erdogan’s first visit to Germany since 2020, when he attended a conference on Libya in Berlin. Before the visit, the Turkish leader stepped up his condemnation of the Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, saying it had “unlimited support” from the West. He had previously called for Israeli leaders to be tried for war crimes at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and repeated his view – and Turkey’s longstanding position – that Hamas is not a “terrorist organisation” but a political party that won the last Palestinian legislative elections held in 2006. Since October 7, when Hamas fighters stormed southern Israel killing around 1,200 people, and prompting the Israeli government to retaliate with a devastating air and ground assault on Gaza, the Turkish president has hardened his criticism of Israel. aljazeera

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.