Istanbul (May 19, 2018): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday urged the Islamic world to show greater unity in supporting the Palestinians, saying Muslim leaders needed to overcome divisions to combat Israel’s “brutality.”Erdogan first addressed thousands in Istanbul at a rally he personally called and barely an hour later chaired an emergency summit of Islamic heads of state he had summoned at a few days notice.
The Turkish strongman has been outspoken over the killing by Israeli forces on Monday of some 60 Palestinians on the Gaza border as well as the move of the US embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.“The time has come to stand against Israel’s tyranny,” Erdogan told a sea of protesters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags.
“I invite all Muslims and all humanity to take action… against those who drag our region and the world into catastrophe with their religious fanaticism,” he added.
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Speaking at the opening of the summit, Erdogan compared Israel’s actions against the Palestinians in Gaza to the Nazi persecution of the Jews in the Holocaust during World War II.“There is no difference between the atrocity faced by the Jewish people in Europe 75 years ago and the brutality that our Gaza brothers are subjected to,” he said, accusing Israel of using methods “similar to the Nazis.”He told the rally that Muslims had too often given a “shy and cowardly” image to their foes and failed to sort out internal disagreements.
Describing the issue of Jerusalem as a “test”, he said: “If we need to speak clearly, the Islamic world failed in the Jerusalem test.”