Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that he opposes anyone who supports Israel and its “state terror.”
“We do not approve of silence on the state terror that Israel blatantly carries out in Palestine,” said Erdoğan according to Iran’s Press TV.
Speaking to senior provincial officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, Erdoğan said that “whoever is on the side of Israel, let everyone know that we are against them.”
Erdoğan, an Islamist politician who often criticizes Israel, suffered a major blow earlier this year when the opposition won control of Istanbul in a repeat mayoral election after Erdoğan’s AKP forced a re-vote.
Meanwhile, tensions between Turkey and NATO countries continued as Russia delivered the first shipment of its advanced S-400 missile-defense system to Turkey. The Turkish president said that Turkey would use the system next year.
In the wake of Turkey’s acceptance of the S-400, the United States removed Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program, saying that the Russian defense system could be used to glean intelligence about the advanced fighter aircraft.
“The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities,” the White House said in a statement earlier this month.
“Turkey has been a longstanding and trusted partner and NATO Ally for over 65 years, but accepting the S-400 undermines the commitments all NATO Allies made to each other to move away from Russian systems,” the statement continued.
Russia is seeking to boost ties with Ankara in order to take advantage of the tension with the United States.