Turkey PM: Israel a regional threat

2011-10-05 14:38

Pretoria - Israel is a "threat" to its region because it owns nuclear weapons, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

"I right now see Israel as a threat for its region, because it has the atomic bomb," Erdogan said in a foreign policy speech during an official visit to South Africa.

He also accused Israel of committing "state terrorism".

Erdogan in the past has accused the West of "double standards" in the way that it has tried to ban Iran from building nuclear weapons without taking similar measures against Israel.

Israel has never officially admitting to possessing nuclear weapons.

Turkey downgraded relations with one-time ally Israel after the latter refused to apologise for its raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla, in which nine Turkish activists died on May 31 2010.

Last month, Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and froze military ties and defence trade deals.

Ankara has also threatened to send warships to escort any Turkish vessels trying to reach Hamas-ruled Gaza.

On either side of the divide

Erdogan's remarks came in response to comments from an Israeli embassy diplomat in South Africa, who blamed radical Islamic organisation Hamas for launching rocket attacks into Israeli territory.

"I have asked many Israeli officials, how many Israelis, have been killed by rockets launched from Gaza and Palestine. I could not get an answer," Erdogan said.

"Yet tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed from bombs that have rained down on them from Israel."

"You sleep at night peacefully and secure," he told the diplomat, to applause by South African foreign affairs officials and members of the diplomatic corps.

"Yet Palestinians can't find a single trace of peace in Palestine."

Erdogan also said Israel had attacked the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as well as the UN buildings in Gaza with phosphorus bombs.

In recent months, the United States has been alarmed at the estrangement between Turkey and its closest Middle East ally Israel.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to urge Turkey to defuse tension and repair strategic ties with Israel when she visits Istanbul to attend a conference on Afghanistan next month.

Clinton will visit Turkey on November 2, Marc Grossman, US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was quoted as saying in the Turkish media.

  • MosesMabhida - 2011-10-05 18:51

    Terrorist supporting Turkey is no longer an asset to NATO. It uses NATO weapons to murder innocent Kurdish civilians in Iraq - a war crime committed with NATO weapons. When will Turkey apologize for the massacre of Armenians and Cypriots? Mr. Erdogan does not like to be reminded of the massacre of Armenians. He also does not like to be asked about his government's invasion of Cyprus and the expulsion of Greek Cypriots. Mr. Erdogan is one big hypocrite. Israel must not let Turkey make the running and should sever all diplomatic ties now. Israel should then support the moves to recognise the Armenian genocide and the illegal occupation of northern Cyprus. Take the gloves off! Better an open enemy than a treacherous 'ally'

  • mundu.olewega - 2011-10-05 18:56

    That's right, Turkey. Israel is a nuclear armed country. Better watch your step. These pissant arabs need to stop provoking a fight and they might get to sleep a little better.

  • Monacoroyals - 2011-10-05 19:17

    You can’t have Genocide or ethnic cleansing if the Palestinians are not dying in mass like the Holocaust, Rwanda, or Congo... or even the way Kadafi or Syria are killing their own. If anything Israel has always wanted and voted for peace. Palestinians attacks, deaths and their use of human shields is a war crime done by Hamas! You want to see an area cleansed then where did all the Christians and Jews that lived in the Arab world go? Why are Gays disappearing in Iran and Saudi… why are women stoned for being raped in this world you seem to represent? Israel has a 20% Muslim population who earn a better living then any of their neighbours... who vote and live anywhere in Israel... if anything your comment of human rights atrocities are more true to Israel's neighbours rather than Israel...

  • Zionist - 2011-10-05 23:55

    "ISRAEL A NUCLEAR THREAT " I am very glad to hear it. But I am sure that those who do not intend to harm Israel have nothing to fear.

  • Zionist - 2011-10-05 23:58

    Turks are starting to get tired of his rants There is already big reaction in Turkey to Erdogan's recent statements and acts that have been isolating Turkey more and more from the western world. You can find many Turkish commentators severely criticizing him for his lies and megalomania. The talkbacks in the Hurriyet and other major newspapers are full of criticism for his constant ranting about Israel while Turkey's serious problems are unattended. The fact that the situation is getting worse everyday in Turkey with the PKK is not helping him either. There are civilian casualties (teachers, policemen, etc.) almost every day now, and the Turkish people are starting to feel very insecure and are fed up. But Erdogan still thinks that by being against Israel he can reinforce his support base and divert attention from the real problems. He is wrong and he will fail . It's a matter of time.

  • Zionist - 2011-10-06 00:04

    Israel has been a nuclear power for well over forty years and has yet to introduce a nuclear option in any war of Arab aggression (that would be all six, not to mention seven decades of terror). Turkey, on the other hand, has invaded Cyprus and is busily at work massacring innocent Kurdish civilians. Don't you think you should clean your own house before worrying about anyone else's? Turkey is a far greater threat to peace and stability in the Middle East than Israel ever has been or will be. I guess Erdogan is too busy bending over to his masters in Iran to have noticed just how poorly received his threats and war-mongering are received in Israel -- and quite a few other countries.

  • Zionist - 2011-10-06 00:11

    what the Arabs and Erdogan are basically saying is... World, help us to remove the so-called nuclear threat from Israel so we will be less impeded when trying to destroy her again as we've tried for the past many decades. That's all. It's the same thing Arabs and Leftists are trying to do diplomatically and through boycotts - to weaken Israel, to weaken its army, and to tie its hands with the restraint of "human rights" which its attackers will not have to adhere to. They are doing the same to the US and NATO incidentally. These are people who wouldn't mind to sacrifice 80% of their own populations if it meant an end to Israel, so claiming Arabs will die in a horrible war will not deter them. Remember - they insist they welcome and admire death.

  • mish82 - 2011-10-06 08:15

    The Holy Qur’an itself described the Jews as a people who believed that they were the “chosen people of the Lord- God to the exclusion of all the rest of mankind” with privileged access to truth and that “heaven was reserved for them.” Yet their hearts were entirely wedded to this world and they longed “to live for a thousand years.” Consider the following verses of the Qur’an: "Say: "If the last abode (i.e., heaven), with Allah, be for you alone, and for no one else, then why do you not desire death, if you are sincere (concerning this belief)." “But they will never desire death on account of the (sins) which they have committed, and Allah well knows those who commit Dhulm (i.e., oppression, injustice, etc.).” “You will certainly find them, of all people, to be the most desirous for (long) life, even more so than those who worship idols: each one of them wishes he could be given a life-span of a thousand years: but the grant of such a life-span will not save him from (due) punishment. For Allah sees well all that they do.” (Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 94-6)

  • - 2011-10-06 08:39 All should read this, it will give you alot of knowledge about a situation most comment but know nothing on

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