Erdoğan tells Pope to keep denouncing Gaza violence

President Erdoğan has told Pope Francis to continue denouncing the loss of civilian lives in Gaza, adding that his continued messages and reactions regarding Israeli attacks on Palestinians will help mobilize Christians.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Pope Francis spoke over the phone on May 17 and discussed Israel's ongoing attacks on Palestinian territories.

During their conversation, according to a Turkish Communications Directorate statement, Erdoğan said an atrocity is being committed in Palestine, adding Israel's attacks are not only against Palestinians, but all Muslims, Christians and humanity.

Apart from blocking access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, restricting the freedom of worship, killing innocent civilians in the Palestinian lands, violating human dignity, Erdoğan said Israel is also endangering regional security.

Erdoğan said all humanity should unite against Israel’s illegal and inhuman practices that also violate the status of Jerusalem.

Stressing that the international community should give Israel a deterrent response and lesson it deserves and take concrete steps in this direction, Erdoğan said that Palestinians will continue to be massacred as long as the international community does not punish Israel, which has committed a crime against humanity.

He noted that Turkey has carried out intense diplomacy at all relevant international platforms, especially at the UN, but the UN Security Council could not display the necessary sense of responsibility.

On Israeli attacks on Palestinians, Erdoğan underlined that Francis’ continued messages and reactions regarding Israeli attacks on Palestinians will help mobilize Christians as well as the international community.


About 200 people have been killed in Gaza by Israeli bombardments and 10 people killed in Israel by militant rockets in the past week of fighting.