ISTANBUL, TURKEY – Tens of thousands of Turkish citizens took to the streets on Monday to protest against Israel’s offensive in Gaza and the recent attacks on Turkish soldiers by Kurdish militants in Iraq. The demonstration, organized by a foundation with close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son, began after morning prayers at several iconic mosques in Istanbul.
Protesters waved Turkish and Palestinian flags as they marched towards the Galata Bridge, chanting slogans condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza and showing support for the Palestinian cause. Turkish news agency, Anadolu, reported that tens of thousands of people participated in the rally.
President Erdogan, a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, has condemned Israel’s military operations in Gaza, accusing the country of “state terrorism”. He has also criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, likening him to Adolf Hitler. Israel’s offensive in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of thousands of Palestinians, with the conflict showing no signs of abating.
In addition to the protests against Israel, the Turkish citizens also expressed outrage over the recent killing of 12 Turkish soldiers in attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. The Turkish government, which considers the PKK a terrorist organization, has vowed to continue its military operations against the group in northern Iraq.
The large turnout at the protest reflects the strong public sentiment in Turkey against Israel’s actions in Gaza and the ongoing conflict between Turkish forces and Kurdish militants in Iraq. The demonstration also serves as a reminder of the complex geopolitical dynamics at play in the region, as well as the deep-rooted support for the Palestinian cause among the Turkish population.
In summary, tens of thousands of Turks gathered in Istanbul to protest Israel’s offensive in Gaza and to denounce the killing of Turkish soldiers by Kurdish militants in Iraq. The demonstration, organized by a foundation affiliated with President Erdogan’s son, reflects the widespread public outrage over these issues in Turkey.