In a speech to a parliamentary session of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the capital of Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan denounced Israel’s ground campaign in Rafah while also attacking the United Nations.

“The spirit of the UN is dead in Gaza,” Erdoğan told the parliamentary meeting.

“If the future of the world is to be left to the discretion of five countries, what are all those giant buildings for?” Erdoğan asked. “Why bother spending that much money, or employing that many people? The United Nations has failed to protect its own personnel and aid workers, let alone stop the genocide. Not only the humanity, but also the UN, along with its spirit, has died in Gaza.”

The Turkish president also repeated the claim, debunked by the IDF, that the strike in Rafah on Sunday evening, in which dozens of civilians were killed, was within the humanitarian safe zone.

“At least 45 innocent Palestinians were martyred in the attack carried out the previous day on the tents in the so-called safe zone, where civilians are struggling for their lives,” Erdoğan stated.

The IDF later released evidence showing the airstrike was about 1.7 kilometers (1 mile) from the humanitarian safe zone of al-Mawasi.

Calling the Rafah incursion a “much bloodier stage” of the Gaza campaign, Erdoğan vilified Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him a “vampire.”

“The world is watching the barbarism of a sick man, a maniac, a psychopath and a blood-feeding vampire called Netanyahu and they are watching it on live broadcasts,” Erdoğan stated.

Turkey has also been accused of human rights abuses over its military campaign and occupation of northern Syria, where Turkish forces have been fighting against Kurdish forces in what it describes as a counter-terrorism campaign.

“Israel is not just a threat to Gaza but to all of humanity,” Erdoğan said, warning that, “No state is safe as long as Israel does not follow international law and does not feel bound by international law.”

Erdoğan called on Islamic states to work together against Israel.

“I have some words to say to the Islamic world,” Erdoğan stated.

“What are you waiting for to take a common decision?” he asked. “When will the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) implement effective, preventative policy to stop Israel’s genocide?”

The Turkish leader reiterated his criticism of the UN, saying, “I am calling out to the United Nations! If, in the 21st century, you cannot stop a genocide, which the entire humanity is watching live, what do you even do?”

During his speech to the AKP party,  Erdoğan emphasized his commitment to the “Century of Türkiye” plan for building a “Turkish axis,” a plan he introduced in 2023 on the centennial of the modern Republic of Turkey.

Some critics have called Erdoğan’s foreign policy an attempt to revive the Ottoman Empire. Recently, he has struggled against economic problems and growing dissatisfaction with his party’s administration. The AKP recently suffered electoral defeats in several important municipal elections. Since then, Erdoğan has become increasingly outspoken in his criticism of Israel and the West.

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