Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan traded barbs with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz over the Israel-Hamas battle throughout a tense press convention on Friday night, at one level suggesting Germany received’t criticize Israel as a result of of the Holocaust.
“Since we’re in a kind of psychology of guilt here, you can’t judge it that way, but we have no debt to Israel. If that were the case, then perhaps we wouldn’t be able to talk so easily. Nor have we gone through the history of the Holocaust,” the Turkish president stated through an official German translator.
Erdoğan, who paid an expectedly difficult go to to Berlin, used the joint press convention with Scholz to harshly criticize Israel for its day by day airstrikes and floor operation in densely-populated Gaza, which has killed greater than 11,500 Palestinians, together with greater than 4,500 kids, in accordance to separate counts from each the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas-run authorities’s media workplace in Gaza. Israel launched the operation within the Israel-Hamas battle after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 folks.
“There is hardly any place left to call Gaza. Everything has been razed to the ground,” he stated, suggesting that Israel was intentionally putting hospitals, mosques and youngsters.
Erdoğan shunned repeating some of his most inflammatory current remarks, reminiscent of calling Israel a “terror state” and accusing it of embracing “fascism.” Instead, he expressed his willingness to contribute to ending the battle within the Middle East, saying that it was obligatory to “save the area from this difficult situation, this fire.”
Scholz additionally sought to de-escalate tensions, saying to the Turkish chief that “it’s no secret that we have very different perspectives on the conflict — that’s why our conversations are important. Especially in difficult moments, we need to talk to each other directly.”
Still, after Erdoğan voiced his criticism of Israel’s army intervention, the chancellor pushed again and emphasised that “Israel must be able to protect and defend itself” following the “terrible, brutal attack that Hamas carried out.”
Scholz did acknowledge that Israel should “use every opportunity to reduce the number of civilian casualties and to bear this in mind in everything it does.” He additionally endorsed humanitarian pauses to enable the discharge of hostages or the supply of humanitarian support — whereas on the similar time emphasizing that this “does not change the fact that there is a need to make Israel’s self-defense possible and not to call it into question.”
Erdoğan added that his nation had an ethical obligation to voice criticism of Israel’s actions: “If we don’t raise our voices, if we do nothing, how will we pay the price in history when one looks back?”
Asked a few potential German blockade of the sale of 40 Eurofighter jets to Turkey, Erdoğan struck a defiant tone — saying “there are many countries that manufacture fighter aircraft, not just Germany” — solely to then assault the journalist who had requested Scholz about such a possible export ban.
“As representatives of the press, you should not threaten us with this,” Erdoğan stated. “Ask us questions that are conscientious, that are humane, and where we can then give appropriate answers.”
Scholz didn’t reply whether or not he would ban the arms export of the Eurofighter, which has been collectively developed by Germany, France, the U.Ok. and Italy, to Turkey.