Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that “Gaza is Palestinian land for the Palestinians and will remain so forever,” in his comment on the devastating war that Israel has been waging in the Gaza Strip for nearly two months and its attempts at displacement.
This came in a speech at the opening of the 39th ministerial session of the Permanent Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul.
At the beginning of his speech, President Erdogan saluted the Palestinians who are committed to defending their homeland despite the immoral Israeli attacks.
He stressed that the cooperation of the Islamic world is of increasing importance in these days, when great brutality is being committed in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially in Gaza.
He pointed out that the Israeli massacres, which began on October 7, accelerated again at the beginning of this month (November), after a 7-day break due to the temporary truce to exchange prisoners.
President Erdogan pointed out that more than 16,000 martyrs and more than 36,000 were wounded in the Israeli attacks that targeted civilians and civilian residential communities, and added: “I ask God for mercy for our martyrs and a speedy recovery for our wounded brothers.”
The Turkish President stated that “two out of every three martyrs in Gaza are children, infants and women, and the number of missing persons in the Gaza Strip exceeds 6,500.”
He pointed out that among the victims of Israeli injustice are 73 journalists and more than 100 United Nations employees.
He pointed out that the scene is so tragic that the United Nations, which was established to maintain global peace and security, is unable to even protect its employees from Israel’s barbarism.
He also pointed out that “the state of helplessness into which the forces defending human rights and freedoms from Europe to America have fallen is worse than that.”
He continued: “These countries provide unconditional support for Israel as if they are encouraging it to kill more children, bomb hospitals, schools, and homes, and shed more innocent blood.”
He pointed out that those who are trying to pass off the killing of so many innocent people in Gaza and legitimize it under the pretext of the presence of the Hamas movement no longer have a single word to say to humanity.
He added: “On the one hand, there are 121 countries (in the United Nations) that said: Let the war (against Gaza) stop, and we do not want more bloodshed. On the other hand, there are 3 to 5 countries that have given an open mandate to Israel’s attacks.”
President Erdogan noted that “the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which was established with the aim of defending the Palestinian cause, provides us with an important basis for the struggle with one voice and one body.”
He stressed that Turkey would not allow the issue of nuclear weapons, which Israel admitted to possess, to be forgotten, stressing that Gaza represented a real test of the world order.
He stressed that what has happened since the start of the war on October 7 has shown the true face of many institutions, from international organizations and human rights organizations to Western democracies and global companies.
He declared that the United Nations had failed institutionally in testing Gaza, and said: “Unfortunately, the sincere efforts of the Secretary-General, Mr. (Antonio) Guterres, were aborted by the members of the Security Council themselves.”
Erdogan stated that the Islamic world demonstrated its position on the Palestinian issue through the extraordinary joint summit held in Riyadh with the Arab League.
He pointed out that they made truly historic decisions at the summit, especially defining the occupying settlers as “terrorists” for the first time.
President Erdogan said: “In addition to its description as a murderer, Israel’s banditry has now begun to be talked about more and more in the international arena.”
He pointed out that the contact group of foreign ministers that was formed within the framework of the Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh held meetings in various countries, and the meetings and talks will continue until the bloodshed in Gaza stops.
Erdogan stressed the need to take other steps, and said that holding Israeli officials accountable for the war crimes they committed is one of these steps.
He stressed the need to activate the United Nations Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court in this context.
President Erdogan described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the “butcher of Gaza.”
He added, “Netanyahu will definitely be tried as a butcher of Gaza and not just a war criminal, just as (former Yugoslav President Slobodan) Milosevic was tried” for the Bosnian massacres.
He stressed that it is necessary now to begin preparations for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, which was destroyed by the Israeli war.
He continued: “We must take a clear and frank stance against Israel’s policies related to evacuating the Gaza Strip of its residents.”
He added: “Here I would like to once again remind Israeli officials who have different ambitions of this fact. Gaza is Palestinian land, Gaza belongs to the Palestinians, and it will remain so forever.”
He added: “It is the duty of all of us as an Islamic world not to leave even a single inch of Gaza land to the occupying state Israel.”
He continued: “We must do this not only for the sake of our brothers in Gaza and the rest of the Palestinians, but for the sake of our security and territorial integrity as well.”
He added: “We know very well that those occupying Gaza today will turn their sights to other places tomorrow with the delirium of the Promised Land.”
He went on to say: “The butcher of Gaza, Netanyahu, himself admitted in front of the cameras that the issue is not Gaza or Ramallah, but rather he is pursuing expansionist goals.”
He continued: “Therefore, defending Gaza and Palestine today means at the same time defending Jerusalem, Mecca, Medina, Istanbul, Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad, and other Islamic cities.”
President Erdogan stressed the importance of the Islamic world moving with the heart of one man.
He added: “If we move with the awareness that we are a big family that includes two billion individuals from Asia to Africa and from America to Europe, no one will be able to threaten us.”
He stressed that it has become extremely important to increase solidarity with the Palestinian people, especially in these difficult days that our Palestinian brothers are going through.
President Erdogan noted that Turkey, in addition to its international efforts, is trying to deliver humanitarian aid to the region (for the residents of the Gaza Strip), which is subject to a stifling Israeli siege.
He said: “In cooperation with our Egyptian brothers, Turkey has so far sent 12 planes loaded with aid to Egypt and two aid ships to Al-Arish, Egypt.”
He pointed out that Turkey brought sick and injured people from the Gaza Strip, especially cancer patients and children, to treat them on its territory.
He added: “I personally visited these patients and shared their pain on behalf of our country and our nation.”
Erdogan stressed that with recent events, the importance of establishing an independent, sovereign, geographically integrated Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders has once again emerged, and he renewed Turkey’s readiness to bear any responsibility for the sake of peace in the Middle East.
He said: “The path to peace in our region passes through the establishment of the State of Palestine, and we are ready to bear all responsibilities with other countries, including participating in the mechanism of guarantors to achieve peace.”