Turkey and Germany Opposing Views on Israel Attacks in Gaza
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed anguish and frustration over the West’s stance and support for Israel in its war in Gaza. He was recently in Berlin and continued his sharp criticism of Israel. But the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized Israel’s right to self-defense must not be called into question.
He also highlighted that that it was no secret that Germany and Turkey had very different views on the conflict. “It’s no secret that we have very different perspectives on the conflict, that’s why our conversations are important. Especially in difficult moments, we need to talk to each other directly.”
Like the United States and the UK counterparts, Scholz believes Israel must be able to protect and defend itself, given Hamas brutal attack on October 7. He added that Israel must use every opportunity to reduce the number of civilian casualties.
Germany Carrying Holocaust Guilt
Not the one to mince his words, Erdogan said Germany is carrying the baggage holocaust guilt which is clouding its judgment and decisions on Israel. “Since we’re in a kind of psychology of guilt here, you can’t judge it that way, but we have no debt to Israel. If that were the case, then perhaps we wouldn’t be able to talk so easily. Nor have we gone through the history of the Holocaust.”
Scholz said Israel’s right to exist is irrefutable for Germany. “There is no place for anti-Semitism in our country, regardless of whether it is politically motivated or religious, whether it comes from the right or the left, whether it has grown here for centuries or comes into the country from outside.”
Earlier this month, Germany marked 85th anniversary of the Nazi pogrom. This year, the world dwelled on Israel’s war in Gaza. The German chancellor said he was ashamed and outraged at the recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents in Germany and warned that Berlin would not tolerate such hatred.
Turkey and Germany Highlight Two-State Solution
Despite the differing views, Turkey and Germany want Israel to stop killing civilians and allow humanitarian ceasefire. Scholz criticized Israel’s illegal settlements in West Bank and highlighted the need for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
He said there shouldn’t be new settlements in West Bank. “In a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, I assured him of the full solidarity with the people of Israel and emphasized the urgent need to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.”
Scholz believes humanitarian ceasefires can contribute to a significant improvement.