Turkish government officials were infuriated by Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener's comparison of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with condemnations pouring from politicians.
Akşener on May 18 deemed Netanyahu the Israeli version of Erdoğan over recent political developments in Israel.
"Netanyahu couldn't form a new government. The Israeli President gave the duty to form a government to Yesh Atid. Israeli Arab parties have gained critical significance all of a sudden, because the possibility of them determining the new government arose," Akşener told members of her İYİ Party at a weekly parliamentary group meeting.
"Upon these developments, Netanyahu, who is Erdoğan's Israeli version in a sense, didn't refrain from killing civilians and children in order to hinder his political rivals and protect his post," she said, while slamming Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for not taking enough steps to stop the bloodshed in Palestine.
Her remarks drew immediate fury from the government, with AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik calling Akşener's remarks "one of the biggest uglinesses in our political lives."
İyi Parti Genel Başkanı Akşener’in Sn.Cumhurbaşkanımız hakkında kullandığı ifadeleri en şiddetli şekilde kınıyoruz.— Ömer Çelik (@omerrcelik) May 18, 2021
Cumhurbaşkanımızı, yaşlı, kadın çocuk çocuk demeden Filistinli Müslümanları katleden Netenyahu'ya benzetmek siyasi hayatımızdaki en büyük çirkinliklerden biridir.
"Mentioning Netanyahu with our president is an attempt to make Netanyahu happy. Comparing our president, who is the staunchest supporter of the Palestinian cause, with the murderer of Palestinian children is an immoral deviance," Çelik said on Twitter on May 18.
In a series of tweets, Çelik repeatedly accused Akşener of "supporting the enemies of Palestine" and "backing Netanyahu's black propaganda."
Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın was another official to slam Akşener.
"Mentioning baby killer Netanyahu with our president in the same sentence would only make Zionists happy. This ugly comparison is an abdication of reason and conscience," Kalın said on Twitter.
Filistin davasını bir kutsal emanet olarak taşıyan Cumhurbaşkanımızla bebek katili Netanyahu’yu aynı cümlede zikretmek sadece Siyonistleri sevindirir. Bu sakil benzetme siyaset değil bir akıl ve vicdan tutulmasıdır.— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) May 18, 2021
According to Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, likening Erdoğan to "murderer" Netanyahu "is not doing politics."