Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan expressed grave concern over Israel’s attacks on Palestine, saying Ankara will continue to make efforts to provide all kinds of support to Palestinians.
"Today, as a result of Israel's attacks on the occupied Palestinian territories and particularly Gaza since Oct. 7, we are witnessing the heinous effects that a war can have on women and children. IAs Israel unleashes an unprecedented barrage of bombs and bullets upon civilians in Palestine, our collective reaction is one of utter horror and concern," Erdogan told Newsweek in an exclusive interview on Monday.
Israel has caused tens of thousands of deaths and injuries by targeting schools, places of worship, facilities and even humanitarian corridors, Erdogan said, adding it has also rendered 18 of the 35 hospitals in Gaza inoperable after its strikes and resource constraints, including the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital.
"Unfortunately, there is no safe haven in the region for the 1.5 million Gazans who were forcibly displaced. There are pregnant women, mothers with infants, and children with special needs among these people. Can you imagine how difficult it is for them to deal with the conditions of conflict and displacement?" she said.
Türkiye perceives no difference between Palestinian children and children from Ukraine, Europe, America, Türkiye or other nations, Erdogan said, adding: "Every child has the right to a safe and comfortable home, as well as a good education and healthcare, regardless of where they are born."
Israel acts with 'organisational reflexes'
Israel pursues a manner of collective punishment without discriminating between men and women, children and the elderly, Erdogan said.
"What is happening in Gaza now cannot even be described as a war. With its cutting-edge weapon technology, this is a state that responds with organisational reflexes," she added, stressing that Israel disregards most fundamental rules of international law.
"Currently in Palestine, a belligerent state is clearly committing war crimes, amounting to crimes against humanity, in violation of universal humanitarian values and international law. We cannot regard such atrocities as a problem that only affects Palestine, the region, or Muslim countries," she said.
People with a conscience, from East to West, are standing up for the just cause of Palestine, and millions of people are protesting Israel's "atrocities" in streets, squares and on university campuses across the globe, Erdogan added.
Turning to the recent United for Peace in Palestine Summit in Istanbul, the first lady said that Türkiye continues its intense efforts to announce the "massacre" to the world and stop the attacks.
"Our country will continue to make efforts to provide all kinds of support to the Palestinian people fully within the scope of humanitarian aid efforts".
US military support to Israel
Erdogan called on all international actors to cooperate to achieve a long-term peace in Gaza.
About the increase in military support from the US to Israel, she said that fanning the flames of the conflict is "in the simplest terms to participate in this massacre."
"The fuses, which the US helped Israel acquire, target the hospitals, newborns in incubators in intensive care, schools, mosques and churches, as well as ambulances carrying patients and refugee camps. Who can therefore assert that Washington plays a constructive role in the conflict, given that they themselves are complicit in this heinous act?”
The unwavering support given to Tel Aviv by a country that projects itself "as the leader of the West" leads to the deepening of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and even poses a threat to global peace and order, Erdogan said.
Türkiye calls on all countries that want a just, lasting peace for the region and for the world to listen to the cry of the people for peace, not to silence it, she said, adding: "They need to mobilise all their resources to end the conflicts and to call on all parties to comply with international law."