Speaking at the Grand Palestine Rally, President Erdoğan said: “Surely, every country has the right to defend itself. However, in Gaza, there is no defense, but an obvious and despicable massacre. They seek the mass destruction of the people of Gaza through starvation, thirst, lack of fuel, collapse of health services, which they use as a weapon.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the Grand Palestine Rally held by Justice and Development (AK) Party’s Istanbul branch at Atatürk Airport.
Speaking at the rally, President Erdoğan said: “I thank each and every single one of you for standing up for the Palestinian cause, for giving hope to the oppressed people of Gaza. I remember with grace all the martyrs, veterans and heroes of our ancestors who left this land to us as a homeland. I would like to commemorate with gratitude those who contributed to the establishment and continuance of our states, from the Anatolian Seljuks to the Ottomans and the Republic, through which we left our sovereign mark on the lands of our homeland.
“WE ARE STANDING UP FOR GAZA”
“I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has toiled and sweated so that our flag will forever fly in the skies of our geography and our adhans will be heard until the end of time. We are such a great nation and state that neither our power, nor our problems, nor our struggle is limited to our own borders. Tomorrow we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of our Republic, and today we will cry out the fire in our hearts for Gaza. We are standing up for Gaza, just as we did in the past in Thrace, in the Balkans, in the Caucasus, in every inch of the Eastern Mediterranean coast, in Central Asia, South Asia, all over Africa. In short, wherever our horizons reached.
“Our youth and the youth of the generation before us passed while following, telling about and condemning the suffering of our brothers and sisters around the world. We shed tears for numerous regions from Crimea to Karabakh, Bosnia to Kirkuk, Palestine to Turkistan, Afghanistan to Chechnya. We have not wasted our lives. Today, some people see Gaza as a place far, far away, a place that has nothing to do with us, and even say this openly. However, a century ago, for this nation, for this country, Gaza was no different than Adana. Just as Edirne was no different than Skopje, Kırklareli was no different than Thessaloniki, Mardin was no different than Mosul, Gaziantep was no different than Aleppo, Gaza was an inseparable part of our homeland. When you visit Çanakkale Martyrs’ Cemetery, take a good look at the names and cities on the tombstones… There, you will see sons of Gaza and Skopje lying side by side, just as you will see sons of Balıkesir and Şanlıurfa lying side by side. So much so that in the list of Çanakkale Martyrs, Gaza, with its 53 fallen sons, ranks above most of the cities within our borders today.
“TÜRKİYE IS A GREAT STATE WITH ITS HISTORY, CULTURE, GEOGRAPHY AND CIVILIZATION”
“But they unfortunately separated the Turkish nation from all these lands that are as much our own as our blood, our lives and our love. Not only did they physically separate us, but they have also turned every trick in the book to uproot them from our minds and hearts. We must never forget the lessons we learned from the dark days when millions of our people lost their lives and millions had to leave their homes and seek refuge in Anatolia. From this arena where we have come together to support our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Gaza, we must also leave with the determination to never allow new Gazas to arise.
“There is no doubt that Türkiye is a great state with its history, culture, geography and civilization. At the same time, Türkiye is a country targeted by never-ending threats and big projects due to all these qualities it possesses. Know that no incident, no crisis, no alliance formed in the south, north, east and west of our country, and even beyond them, is independent of the plots against Türkiye. That I said Hamas is not a terrorist organization has annoyed Israel. We do not expect much more than that.
“Therefore, we are not only condemning the massacre in Gaza. We are also defending our own independence and future. Sultan Abdulhamid was not engaged in there in vain. If you scratch the concepts expressed by Israeli leaders at the highest level, you will find a treacherous map that includes the territories of our country. What was Gaza and Palestine like in 1947? What are they like now? How did you come here Israel? How did you enter? You are an occupier, you are an organization. So, the Turkish nation knows this. The West owes to you, but Türkiye does not. Therefore we speak in such a free manner. Since Türkiye does not owe you, Erdoğan speaks like this.”
President Erdoğan said: “Israel has been openly committing war crime for 22 days. We will announce Israel to the world as a war criminal. We are working on that and we will introduce Israel to the world as a war criminal, but Western leaders cannot even call on Israel for a ceasefire, let alone react to it. With this latest attitude, the West’s record of sins has once again overstepped its bounds.”
“Gaza is not only an issue for those struggling to survive there, but for all of us,” President Erdoğan stated, and added: “Surely, every country has the right to defend itself. However, in Gaza, there is no defense, but an obvious and despicable massacre. They seek the mass destruction of the people of Gaza through starvation, thirst, lack of fuel, collapse of health services, which they use as a weapon.”