New low in Israeli-Turkish relations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being a “tyrant” who “massacres children” after the Israeli Prime Minister had dubbed Mr Erdogan “a dictator”.

“Netanyahu, you are a tyrant,” Erdogan said at a gathering in Ankara, accusing the Israeli leader of “killing Palestinian children”, while he went on to call the Israeli PM a thief.

“This Israeli thief is about to be tried in his country, because Netanyahu and his wife are being tried for theft,” he added, hinting at the indictment against the Israeli leader in three cases of corruption.

Tensions between the two countries escalated this week after Netanyahu, during the election campaign, said on Sunday that Israel is not the nation-state “of all its citizens” but “only of the Jewish people” and therefore not of the large Arab community.

The statement prompted a strong response by the representative of Erdogan who accused the Israeli PM of “blatant racism”.

“Erdogan, the Turkish dictator, is attacking Israeli democracy, while his prisons are full of Turkish journalists and judges. What a joke,” Netanyahu said in a message broadcast on Wednesday.

The Turkish President’s representative hit back in a tweet by calling Israel an “apartheid state”.