Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the world has not respected the political will of the Palestinian people and Palestine today was an open-air prison.
Premier Erdogan replied to questions of Lally Weymouth from the Newsweek International.
When Weymouth mentioned Hamas as an arm of Iran, Erdogan said, "Hamas is not an arm of Iran. Hamas entered the elections as a political party. If the whole world had given them the chance of becoming a political player maybe they would not be in a situation like that after the elections that they won. The world has not respected the political will of the Palestinian people. On the one hand, we defend democracy and we try our best to keep democracy in the Middle East, but on the other hand we do not respect the outcome of the elections that comes out of the ballot box. Palestine today is an open-air prison. The change and reform party, as much as they tried, could not change the situation. Just imagine: you imprison the speaker of a country as well as some ministers of its government and members of its parliament. And then you expect them to sit obediently?"
When the correspondent said some American Jews were "very upset", Erdogan said, "I'm very upset at them. Beginning with the Jews who live in my country, they are witnesses to my attitude towards Jews. As an individual, I have always declared that anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity. As a prime minister I have always been against anti-Semitism and my frustration is against the current Israeli government because they did not act fairly towards us."
When the correspondent mentioned the demonstration in front of Israeli Consulate, Erdogan said, "there have been democratic demonstrations. There are demonstrations in the United States, even in Israel. Everything we have said is against the current Israeli government, nothing against Jews. In my speeches I have stated very clearly that anyone who even thinks about doing anything against the Jews in Turkey will find me against them."
In regard to relations between Turkey and Israel, he said, "we have a serious relationship. But the current Israeli government should check itself. They should not exploit this issue for the upcoming elections in Israel."
AALast Mod: 01 Şubat 2009, 12:12