Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must have got “confused” when he said Turkey had invaded Cyprus.
Speaking in Istanbul, Erdogan said “By accusing of invasion in Cyprus, the Israeli prime minister may have confused his language. Rather, he wanted to say that they are invading Palestine and murdering women and children.”
“Netanyahu,” he continued, “you are banging on the wrong door. Erdogan is the voice of the oppressed, you are the voice of the tyrants. Netanyahu, you are the tyrant. Turkey is fighting terrorists. Israeli slaughterers have no right to blame anyone if they do not give their own account first.”
Earlier in the day in a Twitter attack against Erdoğan, Netanyahu had criticised Turkish presence in the north of Cyprus.
Netanyahu wrote: Erdogan – the occupier of northern Cyprus, whose army massacres women and children in Kurdish villages, inside and outside Turkey – should not preach to Israel.
It is not the first time Netanyahu has wrapped Erdogan’s knuckles over the occupation of Cyprus.
In April, when Erdogan called Israel a ‘terrorist state’ follo0wing bloody incidents in Gaza, Netanyahu answered: Erdogan is not used to being answered back. He must learn to get used to it. He who occupies northern Cyprus and the Kurdish zone and slaughters civilians in Afrin, cannot make us preach values and morality.
Netanyahu’s latest criticism comes after Erdogan spoke on the phone with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas about the decision by some countries to move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, essentially recognising the divided city as the capital of the Jewish state.
According to the Anadolu news agency, Erdogan reassured Abbas that Ankara will continue to support the Palestinians.
Earlier, in response to the same Tweet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hit back at Netanyahu in his own Tweet, saying ‘the occupier that kicks people to the ground is easily offended’.
Cavusoglu’s Tweet continued: ‘Netanyahu is a cold-blooded killer of modern times, responsible for massacres of thousands of Palestinians, bombing children on beaches. Turkey will never stop exposing the truth.’