PM Erdogan: Turkey's reaction against İsrael's attacks reflects its humanitarian sensitivity


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nebih Berri, who was in Turkey to attend a meeting of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (PUOICM) Executive Board convened to discuss the human tragedy in Gaza in the face of Israeli attacks. Erdogan's meeting with Berri focused on the situation in Gaza. During the meeting, the premier said that Turkey's strong reaction against the Israeli air and ground attacks on Gaza reflects its humanitarian sensitivity, adding that Turkey has shown similar sensitivity towards, for instance, the humanitarian crises in Georgia and Sudan. Stressing that Israel is continuing to devastate Gaza despite a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire, Erdogan said Israel airstrikes recently targeted a UN building where hundreds of civilians had taken shelter and a Palestinian Red Crescent hospital providing treatment for hundreds of wounded. "As a nation which faced a similar humanitarian tragedy due to Israeli attacks in 2006, I'm sure the Lebanese people now deeply feel Gaza people's sorrow," he added. Briefing Berri on Turkey's peace efforts, Erdogan said that a privately led Turkish delegation is continuing talks in Cairo with an eye towards reaching a cease-fire as soon as possible. For his part, Berri said Lebanon welcomes Turkey's peace efforts. He thanked Turkey for its 2006 assistance to Lebanon, and for its diplomatic initiatives to end the tragedy in Gaza. In related news, Foreign Ministry officials yesterday expressed Turkey's deep concern over the escalating violence and Israel's latest attacks in Gaza. They said Turkey had noted with great concern Israeli attacks on offices of international organizations and media representatives. While Israel's offensive on Gaza went into its 21st day today, the death toll there topped 1,100, including 355 children, with at least 5,130 people wounded, 400 of them in serious condition.