Erdogan accuses Israel of deliberately killing Palestinian mothers - Middle East Israel News | Haaretz - Liar Liar!
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Erdogan accuses Israel of deliberately killing Palestinian mothers - Middle East Israel News | Haaretz

Ahead of August 10 presidential election, Turkish PM tells hundreds of thousands that Israel will 'drown in the blood it sheds.'

REUTERS - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel on Sunday of deliberately killing Palestinian mothers and warned it would "drown in the blood it sheds," pulling foreign policy to center stage as a presidential race enters its final week.

Addressing hundreds of thousands of supporters at his biggest rally so far ahead of the August 10 election, Erdogan again likened Israel's actions to those of Hitler, comments that have already led Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accuse him of anti-Semitism and drawn rebuke from Washington.

"Just like Hitler, who sought to establish a race free of all faults, Israel is chasing after the same target," Erdogan told the sea of cheering supporters at an Istanbul arena.

"They kill women so that they will not give birth to Palestinians; they kill babies so that they won't grow up; they kill men so they can't defend their country ... They will drown in the blood they shed," he said.

Pro-Palestinian sentiment runs high in mostly Sunni Muslim Turkey, and protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets in recent weeks to demonstrate against Israel's offensive in Gaza.

Over 50 million Turks are expected to vote next Sunday, electing their president directly for the first time. Two polls last month put Erdogan on 55-56 percent, a 20-point lead over the main opposition candidate, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

Ihsanoglu, a diplomat and academic who was at the helm of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation for nine years, has accused Erdogan of populism with his anti-Israeli rhetoric.

"I think the foreign policy issues are used in domestic politics to rally people, but it creates problems and pushes governments into corners," Ihsanoglu, who has run a much lower-key campaign than Erdogan, told Reuters in an interview last week.

Kurdish candidate Selahattin Demirtas, running a distant third in the polls, urged Erdogan on Sunday to cut economic and military ties with Israel instead of "screaming and shouting". Turkey was once Israel's closest regional ally.

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