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Erdogan's Hitler comments take their toll

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments comparing Israel's operation in Gaza as going beyond Hitler's barbarism come during a tense chapter in Turkey's relations with Israel.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan stands on stage as he attends a political rally for members of the expatriate Turk community in Chassieu, near Lyon, June 21, 2014. Turkey will vote for its first directly-elected president in August.    REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot (FRANCE  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR3V03A

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has left nothing more to be said against Israel: “[Israelis] have no conscience, no honor, no pride,” he said July 19 during a rally in the Black Sea city of Ordu. “Those who condemn Hitler — day and night — have surpassed Hitler in barbarism.” The day before in Bursa, a city on the coastline of the Marmara Sea, he also had this to say: “World leaders are making weird statements. They say Israel is using its right of self-defense. What kind of a self-defense is this that it is only the Palestinians to die? It is all a game. We face a new crusader alliance.”

His foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, echoed the same sentiment July 20 in a speech at an iftar dinner organized by the youth branch of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). “The main opposition party leader [Kemal Kilicdaroglu] and some others call the Middle East a quagmire. But we won’t let anyone call the Middle East a quagmire,” he said, adding, “This place includes the cave of Hira [near Mecca where Muslims believe Muhammad received his first revelations from God], which enlightens humanity. We will work night and day to remove the colonialists from this region. We will raise the light of civilizations in the Middle East.”

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