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Turkey's Erdogan denounces Gaza 'genocide'

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he delivers a speech to members of his ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party, during its weekly meeting in Ankara. File picture: Kayhan Ozer/Presidency Press Service via AP

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he delivers a speech to members of his ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party, during its weekly meeting in Ankara. File picture: Kayhan Ozer/Presidency Press Service via AP

Published May 15, 2018

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Istanbul - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced a "genocide" in the Gaza Strip as he declared three days of mourning in Turkey over the Israeli killings of dozens of Palestinian protesters. 

Separately, a government spokesman said Turkey was recalling its ambassadors to Tel Aviv and Washington.  

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"Israel is carrying out a genocide. I curse this drama of humanity and genocide, no matter from which side it comes from, either America or Israel," Erdogan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency while he visited Britain.

"Israel is a state of terror," he added, on a day where more than 50 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces as the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

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Erdogan said there would be three days of mourning for those killed in Gaza and planned a large rally in Istanbul for Friday. Ramadan is set to start in the middle of this week, and this will be the first Friday, the key Islamic prayer day, of the holy month for Muslims. 

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Meanwhile, Anadolu quoted government spokesman Bekir Bozdag as saying Ankara was recallings its top envoys to Tel Aviv and Washington for consultations. 

Bozdag also said Turkey's parliament would be convened to discuss Gaza. 

Condemnations of Israeli actions in Gaza were widespread in Turkey, including from the secular opposition, Kurdish groups and leftist circles, in addition to the government and Islamist organizations. 

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