Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey is prepared to go to war with Israel over their meddling in the Kurdish independence movement.
In a speech on Friday Erdogan discredited the Kurdish independence movement, claiming it was controlled by Israel.
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“Who is giving you counsel? Only Israel is behind you,” Erdogan said of Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani.
“You have taken former Foreign Minister of France your right-hand side and another Zionist to your left-hand side, working on a table with them,” he added.
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) October 8, 2017
Salon.com reports: Erdogan’s remarks have occurred as America’s relationship with Turkey continues to be fraught. Earlier this month, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal was convicted of terrorism charges in absentia and sentenced to 25 months in prison for writing an article in 2015 that shed light on the violent suppression of Kurdish separatists.
In May, Erdogan was harshly criticized when his security forces violently charged anti-Erdogan protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence. Last month, Erdogan claimed that President Donald Trump apologized to him for that incident, which Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later denied. But recently, Trump praised Erdogan’s leadership in Turkey and described him as a “friend of mine,” claiming that Erdogan and himself were “as close as we’ve ever been.”
Most recently, Turkey created an international incident with the United States when it arrested a staffer at the American consulate which it claimed was a spy. When the United States responded by suspending the issue of visas to Turkish citizens at U.S. diplomatic missions, Erdogan accused America’s ambassador to Turkey of trying to wreck ties among NATO allies.
Erdogan’s ire was raised by the fact that, during a referendum on September 25, 92 percent of the voters in Kurdistan voted to become an independent nation, according to Kurdistan24.
Less than two weeks later, Erdogan was meeting with Iranian leaders President Hassan Rouhani and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to claim that the Kurdistani vote had been manipulated by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency.
The State Department was contacted by Salon for comment about Erdogan’s anti-Semitic speech but did not respond prior to deadline.