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Unified Turkic world will help pave way to cease-fire, lasting peace in Israel-Palestine conflict: Turkish president

A unified Turkic world acting together will help pave the way to a cease-fire and permanent peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Turkish president said Friday.

“There is nothing that could justify what we have witnessed since Oct. 7,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, referring to Israel’s relentless attacks on Gaza, in a speech at the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) summit in Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital.

“There is no word to describe this brutality. For a full 28 days, crimes against humanity have been committed in Gaza.”

On Türkiye’s assistance to Palestinians affected by Israeli attacks, Erdogan said it has sent 10 plane loads of humanitarian aid to Gaza so far and will send more as conditions allow.

Stressing that an unprecedented humanitarian tragedy is unfolding before the eyes of the entire world in Palestine, Erdogan added: “Our efforts to organize an international peace conference are ongoing,” referring to a Turkish initiative to end the conflict.

“Hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, and refugee camps are being targeted. Innocent children are being ruthlessly killed.”

“We have repeatedly stated and continue to say that we do not approve of actions against civilians. Our priority is to establish a humanitarian cease-fire as quickly as possible.”

“We are also working on creating new mechanisms that will guarantee the safety of everyone, whether they are Muslim, Christian, or Jewish,” Erdogan added.

The consequences of the Russia-Ukraine War in areas such as energy, food, and transportation have negatively affected the entire world, Erdogan stressed.

“Our stance within the OTS will serve as an example to other organizations.”

He also highlighted the importance of establishing sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan, which would serve not only Central Asia but also provide lasting security and prosperity across the entire continent.

This week, the Israeli military has expanded its air and ground attacks in Gaza, which has been under relentless airstrikes since the Palestinian group Hamas launched a cross-border attack on Oct. 7.

Over 10,500 people have since been killed in the conflict, including at least 9,061 Palestinians.

Erdogan said Türkiye will never forget the solidarity shown by the OTS after the twin earthquakes hit the country’s southern on Feb.6.

Erdogan expressed his gratitude for granting observer member status to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the OTS in 2022.

“I believe that at our next summit, we will see the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus among us as an observer member, as we have decided.”

Türkiye will continue to take steps towards the peace, prosperity, and security of the entire Turkic world, he added.

It is important for Armenia to fulfill its obligations toward Azerbaijan

Highlighting the importance of unity, solidarity, and cooperation within the Turkic world in the face of global challenges, President Erdogan reminded Azerbaijan ended the occupation of the Armenian forces for 30 years in Karabakh.

It is important for Armenia to fulfill its obligations toward Azerbaijan, he said.

“The establishment of a transportation corridor connecting Azerbaijan’s western regions with Nakhichevan is of great significance.”

“The opening of this corridor will contribute significantly to the prosperity of all countries in the region and, at the same time, connect Türkiye to Central Asia, our ancestral homeland.”

“To successfully conclude this process, we must maintain our support for Azerbaijan within the Turkish world.”

The transportation of Caspian natural gas to Türkiye and Europe would contribute to the prosperity of both the Turkic states and Europe’s energy security, Erdogan stressed.

“We should particularly focus on the goal of enhancing transportation networks between our countries.”

Türkiye continues its efforts to activate the Trans-Caspian East-West-Middle Corridor, he added.

During his visit, Erdogan also gifted Türkiye’s first domestically produced electric car, Togg, to Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.