Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his belief that Israel is a "terror state" shortly after returning from a trip to Germany.
In his first trip to a Western nation since Israel began bombing Gaza on Oct. 7, Erdogan traveled to Berlin on Friday to meet with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Germany has called for Israel to focus on limiting the impact of military operations on Gaza's civilian population, while also expressing strong solidarity with the Jewish state.
"The person in charge of this terror state has at the moment made the Israeli people cry out and revolt against himself," Erdogan said of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to The Canberra Times. "That is why his end is near."
The Turkish leader also tied Western governments, including Germany, to "the crusader imperialist structure," but did not elaborate further.
"Unfortunately, I saw this during my visit last night," Erdogan said. "I saw that in the president too, and in the other one."
The visit to Germany was reportedly Erdogan's first in nearly four years.
On Wednesday, the Turkish president decried Israel's military campaign against Palestinian militant group Hamas as the "the most treacherous attacks in human history," which he said are aided by "unlimited" support from the West.
"With the savagery of bombing the civilians it forced out of their homes while they are relocating, it is literally employing state terrorism," Erdogan said of Israel in Parliament. "I am now saying, with my heart at ease, that Israel is a terror state."
"We will never shy away from voicing the truth that Hamas members protecting their lands, honor, and lives in the face of occupation policies are resistance fighters, just because some people are uncomfortable with it," he said.
Following Erdogan's speech, Netanyahu took to social media to accuse the Turkish head of state of being the one who "supports the terror state of Hamas."
"By contrast, there are forces that support the terrorists," the Israeli prime minister wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "One of them is President Erdogan of Turkey, who calls Israel a terrorist state, but supports the terror state of Hamas, and bombed Turkish villages inside Turkey itself. So, we're not going to get any lectures from them."
Erdogan reportedly condemned the slaughter of more than 1,400 Israelis by Hamas on Oct. 7, but later described members of the militant group as freedom fighters.
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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