JERUSALEM (JTA) — Turkey will keep its Jewish citizens safe, but the Jewish community should denounce Israel, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a Turkish newspaper.
“Jews in Turkey are our citizens. We are responsible for their security of life and property,” Erdogan told the Daily Sabah.
He added: “I talked with our Jewish citizens’ leaders on Thursday, and I stated that they should adopt a firm stance and release a statement against the Israeli government. I will contact them [Jewish leaders in Turkey] again, but whether or not they release a statement, we will never let Jewish people in Turkey get hurt.”
He said, according to the newspaper, that the Jewish leaders in Turkey should criticize “Israeli aggression,” and that the Israeli government “abuses all Jewish people around the world for its fraudulent policies.”
Erdogan on Friday criticized the United Nations for being “silent” on Israel’s operation in Gaza and said that Turkey has had difficulty delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza because of Israeli restrictions.
In an interview with CNN, Erdogan said that “If Israel is sincere on establishing a cease-fire, we will convince Hamas [to do the same].”