World Bulletin / News Desk
In a harsh speech to parliamentary colleagues, Erdogan repeated Turkey's condemnation of Israel's military assults describing the operations as an "humanitarian disgrace" and a "stain on history's page."
"Turkey will continue to stand with Palestine, we have bonds of history, culture and love. The problem of Palestine is not just the problem of Arabs, Muslims or the Middle East. It should not be so. Peace in Palestine is necessary for peace in the Middle East," Erdogan said.
Israel`s reasons cannot justify the attacks. History will judge Israel`s action as an "humanitarian disgrace". We talk as the grandsons of Ottomans who put your ancestors up as a guest in this land when they were expelled from Europe, not as ordinary country`s leaders.
Erdoğan said "there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza and this crisis began with Israel`s embargo. Hamas complied with the truce but Israel did not lift the embargo.
"Humanitarian aid that we sent reached there behind schedule. We continue diplomatic efforts to stop attacks," he sadi.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated calls for Israel to put an immediate halt to its attacks in the Gaza Strip, lift the embargo and open the border.
Erdogan said at the parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party, "I have sent my special advisor to Syria to hold talks with President Nicholas Sarkozy of France, President Bashar al-Asad of Syria and Hamas officials. Foreign Minister Ali Bacaban has already left for the United States to meet with permanent and non-permanent members of the UN Security council. We are trying to do our utmost in search for a cease-fire in the region. There is an atrocity in our region, and we cannot support those who are responsible for it."
Erdogan said his government aimed to make up a viable action plan for reaching a permanent cease-fire, adding that he saw a common sense growing in the region after his talks with Middle East leaders.
He also criticized those who have failed to condemn the attacks "showing the multiple standards", referring to the United States.
"Killing innocent people, defenseless children and women, bombing civilians and using disproportionate force are unacceptable. This operation is a blow to world peace," Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan criticized Israel for isolating the Gaza Strip, where Palestinians try to survive under harsh conditions and responded to those who critisized him of being emotional.
"If I`m emotional, it is because of my brothers and sisters in Gaza. Actually, Israel is acting emotionally when they think about elections. I call out Olmert and Livni: History will judge what you`re doing right now as a stain on history`s page".
Erdogan said that people in Gaza had been left alone in the world's biggest open prison for years.
"Mr. Olmert came to Turkey and we discussed the fifth round of Israel-Syria indirect talks (on December 22). Then, we heard that Israeli jets bombed Gaza (on December 27). We consider this a disrespect to Turkey. Now, they talk about being emotional. Any reason cannot justify the fact that 550 people were killed and more than 2 thousand others were injured in the strikes," he said.
"Why are those who got involved so quickly in Georgia ... Why are they quiet now," Erdogan said, apparently referring to quick US action to send aid to Georgia following Russia's war in August.
"This not a double standard, it is a multiple standard," Erdogan said to his Justice and Development Party parliamentarians.
Erdogan made a direct call for Turks to donate to a Palestinian aid fund set up by the government.
Erdogan added, "nothing can be resolved like this. On the contrary, the peace process will be damaged. I want to underline that the Middle East has never been this close to peace in the last 100 years. These assaults, have darkened once again our hopes for peace."
He said European Union, United Nations, United States and the Organization for Islamic Conference should shoulder responsibility for Middle East peace.
"Why all the international organizations, who stepped in about what happened in Georgia, remain silent about this matter (Gaza)," he asked.