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Protests against Israel spread in Turkey following Rafah strike

As Israel's Rafah strike sparked protests across the country, Turkey’s National Security Council implicitly criticized Washington for police interventions in pro-Palestinian protests in US colleges.
ILKER ERAY/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images

ANKARA — Israel’s airstrike that killed at least 21 Palestinian civilians in western Rafah on Tuesday has added to the public outrage in Turkey and sparked more protests in the country.

More than 100 people gathered outside a high-rise compound that is home to the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul, chanting “down with Israel” slogans. Some protesters were seen hurling fireworks at the building, as shown in videos circulating on social media platforms. A widely circulated video on the X platform showed a small fire on a street nearby.

Another group of protesters gathered near the American consulates in Istanbul and in Turkey’s Mediterranean province of Adana.

Israel withdrew its diplomats from Turkey in October, citing security concerns, but some of the low-level staff reportedly returned to their duties.

Protests continued later on Tuesday, with college students gathering on campuses in at least nine provinces, protesting the Jewish state for the overnight carnage, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency.

Speaking in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said the overnight bombing of Rafah marked "another massacre that Israel has been waging in Gaza."

Chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish National Security Council, which met later on Tuesday, implicitly criticized the United States for the police intervention in pro-Palestinian protests held on some US college campuses.

“The actions aimed at suppressing the rising voices from all around the world calling for an end to Israel's crimes against humanity once again reveal the insincerity of those who claim to defend the rule of law, democracy and freedom of expression,” read a statement released after the bimonthly meeting.