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Reaction to Erdogan’s walk-out at WEF


Source: | 01-31-2009 16:46

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

A spat in Davos between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli President Shimon Peres has drawn a mixed reaction from people around the world. In Muslim countries, there has been strong support for Erdogan, but Israelis have been more critical.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, speaks during a media conference at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan later stalked off the stage at the World Economic Forum, after verbally sparring over Gaza with Israeli President Shimon Peres.(AP Photo/Keystone/Peter Klaunzer)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, speaks 
during a media conference at the Annual Meeting of the 
World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, 
Jan. 29, 2009. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan 
later stalked off the stage at the World Economic Forum, 
after verbally sparring over Gaza with Israeli President 
Shimon Peres.(AP Photo/Keystone/Peter Klaunzer)

The dispute over Israel's offensive in Gaza took place at a panel discussion on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

Erdogan criticized Peres harshly and ended the discussion by walking off the stage.

This has earned Erdogan wide support in his country. Thousands of people welcomed him home in Istanbul, hailing him as a national hero.

Zeki Basar, Erdogan supporter, said, "The prime minister gave the necessary lesson to Israel. He showed that he is a global leader. He gave a very good lecture to those who kill children and babies.""

Erdogan also won praise in Gaza, where Israel carried out its 22-day offensive. Palestinian officials say the offensive left nearly 1,300 Palestinians dead, at least half of them civilians.

Mushiral-Masri, Hanmas politician, said, "Hamas appreciates the Turkish prime minister's courageous and responsible position which shows the choices of the nation and confirms the Palestinian people's rights. "

But in Israel, shocked residents said relations with the Turkish Republic could be damaged by Erdogan's remarks.

Berry Levenfeld, Jerusalem resident, said, "We are all concerned about the needless death of civilians on both sides, but the attacks that he made on President Peres were unwarranted and I think that Shimon Peres was completely justified in raising his voice in the way he did which is very unusual for a man of his stature."

Some commentators say the incident could have a negative impact on future relations between the two countries. And they say it could also damage Turkey's position as a Middle East mediator.


Editor:Zhang Yun