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Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Israel as bad as Hitler, says Erdogan

Several people were arrested after protesters clashed with police at an anti-Erdogan rally in Cologne on Saturday. According to police, a group of roughly 400 pro-Kurdish demonstrators started attacking police officers with stones, bottles and flares. Riot police responded with batons and pepper spray. The protest was directed against the political situation in Turkey and against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In total around 1,000 people attended the protest, many of whom carried signs with the portrait of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. No injuries were reported at the time of writing.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says he couldn’t say pick between the Holocaust or Israeli military offensives to decide which was ‘more barbarous’ during a controversial interview on Israeli television. Picture: AP

TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he couldn’t say whether the Holocaust or the Israeli military offensives were “more barbarous” during a controversial interview on Israeli television.

Speaking to Israeli press for the first time in more than 10 years, Mr Erdogan was questioned about previous comments where he accused the Jewish state’s government of “barbarism that surpasses Hitler” in 2014, according to The Independent.

Mr Erdogan sparked outrage when he lambasted Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza at a political rally two years ago, accusing Israeli’s of having “no honour” and claiming their military offensive was more barbaric than Hitler.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Israeli press he can’t say whether the Holocaust or Israeli military offensives were “more barbarous”. Picture: APSource:AP

He made the comments at a time when there was international tension over Operation Protective Edge, an offensive against Hamas militants that left more than 2200 Palestinians dead.

In his latest interview with Israeli’s Channel 2 on Monday, Mr Erdogan was unapologetic over the controversial comments but seemed to backtrack somewhat, saying he couldn’t say whether one was worse than the other.

“I don’t approve of what Hitler did, and neither do I approve of what Israel has done,” Mr Erdogan said, according to a translation by AFP.

“When it’s a question of so many people dying, it’s inappropriate to ask who was the more barbarous.”

However The Times of Israel reported a slightly different translation from the remarks in Turkish, quoting Mr Erdogan saying: “There’s no place for comparison in order to say what’s more barbaric.”

It’s not the first time Mr Erdogan has lambasted Israel. Picture: APSource:AP

According to The Independent, Mr Erdogan told Channel 2 he was “well aware” of the sensitivities associated with Hitler but said he found it “impossible to forget the hundreds, the thousands of people who died when (the Israeli military) struck in Gaza”.

It’s not the first time the President has made headlines over his blunt comments.

In 2014 he accused Israel of seeking a “systematic genocide” of the Palestinians, condemning the country’s air campaign in the Gaza Strip.

Israel and Turkey are currently attempting to improve relations following the killing of 10 Turks in an Israeli commando raid on a ship heading towards Gaza in 2010, which resulted in Ankara expelling the Israeli ambassador and freezing all defence ties.