Hamas election victory should be respected, Turkish PM says

Erdogan warned that if necessary respect was not shown, democracy would be harmed and the outcome would be a guided democracy.

Hamas election victory should be respected, Turkish PM says
World Bulletin / News Desk


Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that attacks on lives of innocent civilians could not be approved and did not have any legitimacy.

Delivering a speech at the European Policy Center in Brussels, Erdogan commented on the Israeli offensive on Gaza.

Erdogan said Gaza had a high density of population, noting that any military offensive on such a location was bound to cause civilian casualties.

"They say they hit outposts. But unfortunately instead of outposts, they hit innocent children and women," said Erdogan.

Erdogan said though Israeli officials continued to speak of a solution based on co-existence of two states, they did not view Palestine as a state.

Erdogan who reminded that Hamas had come to power in Palestine with a landslide victory in elections, asked related parties to respect this outcome.

Erdogan warned that if necessary respect was not shown over this issue, democracy would be harmed and the outcome would be a guided democracy.

"I have to say we have been saddened by what went on. Israel did not really respect us in that process," he said.

Erdogan said he had had six hours of talks with Israeli PM Olmert at the end of December, during which they had discussed indirect talks with Syria -- in which Turkey had been acting as an intermediary -- and other matters.

"But no mention was ever made during these discussions with Mr. Olmert about Gaza, and three or four days later he should have contacted me," he added.

"Not only did he not contact me, but we then discovered, December 27, that Israel had started to bomb Gaza.

"This lack of respect is something that Israel has to remedy."

Erdogan underlined that detention of elected Hamas offcials including parliamentarians by Israel, did not comply with democracy.

Erdogan quoted a top Israeli official as having said that Mahmoud Abbas would be unhappy if they freed Hamas officials.

"However, elections were not held to please Abbas. Abbas and the rest of the world will have to bear the consequences," said Erdogan.

But he said Turkey would not cut ties with Israel.

Israel killed 1300 Palestinians with a quarter of children and wounded 5300 in 22-day bombardments and ground invasion in Gaza untill announcing ceasefire on Saturday and also Hamas declared truce on Sunday, giving Israel one week to withdraw its troops from Gaza.

Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2009, 15:39
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