As Israel moves closer to a possible invasion of the Gaza Strip, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rallied support for Palestine from Islamic countries. According to the Presidential office, Erdogan has dialled Malaysia’s king and the leaders of Iraq Qatar, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Algeria, Kyrgyzstan, Northern Cyprus, Afghanistan and Jordan since aerial attacks began Monday. Erdogan, himself a staunch Muslim, has constantly backed Islamist leaders with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev being the most recent.
Israel’s actions, which are against the decisions by humanity’s common organizations, fundamental human rights, the international law and all human values, must be stopped immediately. pic.twitter.com/mXsS00JtUT — Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) May 12, 2021
Stating the immediate need for an “international force to protect Palestinians from “Israeli aggression”, Erdogan also held a telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Later, Turkey’s Communications Directorate confirmed that both the leader deliberated upon the Gaza Strip and Israel situation. It’s imperative to note here is that the relationship between Moscow and Ankara itself dwindles between periods of hostilities and reconcilement.
‘Strong and deterrent lesson’
As Erdogan called upon the international community to give Israel a “strong and deterrent” lesson, protests in Arab support broke out in major cities including the capital Ankara. In Istanbul, protesters including Syrians and Palestinians carried Palestinian flags while chanted slogans including, “(Turkish soldiers) to Gaza” and “Down with Israel, down with America”
Protest for solidarity with Palestine from Istanbul, Turkey 🇹🇷🇵🇸❤️ pic.twitter.com/io4JqQ4jtX — ceren #FreePalestine🇵🇸 (@cerencoskunuzer) May 11, 2021
WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER✌🏼
– Protest held in Istanbul, Turkey 🇹🇷 in solidarity with Palestine 🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/TDk0qGcyVH — ceren #FreePalestine🇵🇸 (@cerencoskunuzer) May 12, 2021
protest for solidarity with Palestine from Istanbul, i’m finally proud of something my people are doing 🇹🇷🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/FTqNCqvGLd — peky!! (@heIlbby) May 11, 2021
As Israel said on May 14, it has sent air and ground troops to the Gaza Strip, a move that comes as the region faces its bloodiest crisis since the 2014 War. “IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip,” Israel Defense Forces wrote on Twitter shortly after midnight. Despite Egyptian negotiators pulling all stops to establish a truce between warring sides, tensions escalated late Thursday after Hamas fired a heavy barrage of missiles deep into Israel’s commercial centre. It continued on Friday as the Zionists retaliated by scaling up air strikes and hurling tank and artillery shells for the first time.
With the death toll nearing 200 on Thursday, Palestinians marked a sombre end to the holy month of Ramadan. According to Associated Press, the escalation has led to the death of 190 Palestinians including 28 children and 15 women, with 621 people wounded. The Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups have confirmed 20 deaths in their ranks, though Israel says that number is much higher. Seven people have been killed in Israel, including a 6-year-old boy.