Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener over the latter's comparision of Erdoğan to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We have a politician who has become so despicable that they have equated me to Netanyahu. I will not go further [with insults] since she is a woman,” Erdoğan said on May 19, as he came together with 81 young people at the Presidential Palace to mark Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day.
"When someone says 'Palestine,' it is as if my lungs enliven, whereas she is so miserable that she would not know the location of Palestine in the map," Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan said Netanyahu has never been a “friend of ours” and Turkey will continue its efforts against him.
"I had an adventure with the Israeli prime minister at Davos. The whole world knows the answer that I gave to the then-Israeli prime minister at Davos. You [referring to Akşener] cannot say this to an Erdoğan who has spent his 40-year-old political life struggling against these,” Erdoğan said, referring to his storming out of the 2009 World Economic Forum following a debate with the then-Israeli President Shimon Peres.
The Turkish president's comments came a day after Akşener deemed Netanyahu the Israeli version of Erdoğan over recent political developments in Israel.
Speaking on Israel’s March elections, Akşener said on May 18 Netanyahu was “Erdoğan's Israeli version in a sense.”
Her remarks drew immediate fury from the government, with several ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials lining up to condemn the İYİ Party leader.