GeriGündem Turkish PM reitreates his criticism not target Israeli people or Jews
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Turkish PM reitreates his criticism not target Israeli people or Jews

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that his criticism over the Gaza operation does not target the Israeli people or the Jewish world, but the Israeli government.

"We do not blame Israel, the Israeli people or the Jews. We are not making a general criticism," Erdogan told on Friday at a speech at an opening ceremony in Istanbul.


His remarks echoed the ones he made on Thursday night when he stormed out of a heated debate on the Gaza operation with Israel's President Shimon Peres at the Davos forum.


"Our criticism targets a specific method in a specific case. Our reaction is to bombs, war planes, and the situation of women and innocent children. Our reaction targets the practices of the Israeli administration," he said, adding has never and will never target a specific religion or nation.


Turkey harshly criticized Israel over its Gaza operation which left more than 1,300 people dead. Relations between Turkey and Israel, two countries who have close diplomatic and military ties, have been strained, experts say.


Jewish organizations had previously warned Erdogan's criticism might incite anti-Semitism in Turkey.


"We are against anti-Semitism. But the attempts to show every criticism against Israeli government as an anti-Semitist act is not correct," Erdogan added.


Although Peres called Erdogan after the Thursday's incident and said it should not effect the relations of the two countries, Jewish organizations slammed the Turkish prime minister over the Davos crisis.


Erdogan said the motto of his foreign policy is "Peace at home, Peace in the World" and this is the reason why Turkey stepped in as a mediator in various conflicts in the Middle East.


"People in the region are tired of bloodshed and pain. Everybody should stay on the side of peace. Turkey’s side is peace... Our foreign policy is based on our thoughts not on (those of) others," he added.


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