Press TV, Turkey - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Israel hit and destroyed a building housing the offices of the Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency in the Gaza Strip in a bid to prevent it from exposing the regime’s “dirty works” to the world.
“The Israeli administration, with the courage that it has taken from the silence of the international community, goes as far as bombarding media outlets and humanitarian aid agencies, and they bombed our Anadolu Agency,” Erdogan said in Istanbul on Saturday.
The Turkish president said the Israelis bombed the news agency’s building “because all of their dirty works should not be made public. Whoever announces [these dirty works] is an enemy for them.”
Last Saturday, Israeli warplanes destroyed the Anadolu Agency’s seven-story building in Gaza’s Rimal neighborhood following warning shots. No casualties occurred.
Erdogan said that despite Israel’s “bullying policies,” Anadolu would continue its work. He made similar remarks back on the day when the building was hit.
In his newer remarks, the Turkish president further complained that the organizations critical of press freedom in his country did not speak out against Israel’s actions, and that their silence amounted to double standards and partnership in cruelty.
The airstrikes on Anadolu came during a new round of Israeli strikes against Gaza that started on May 3. Israeli warplanes struck some 350 sites in Gaza, claiming the lives of 27 Palestinian people, during the offensive.
In response, Palestinian fighters fired some 700 rockets at the occupied lands, killing four Israelis and injuring 200 others.
After three days of deadly Israeli airstrikes and retaliatory Palestinian rocket attacks, the two sides reached a ceasefire agreement on May 6 with mediation from Egypt and Qatar.
Rejecting silence on ‘Israeli terror’
Elsewhere in his remarks, Erdogan touched on a recent decision by Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK) to annul the results of the March 31 mayoral vote in Istanbul and order a rerun on June 23.
Erdogan slammed the Western countries’ criticism of the election rerun decision, saying, “Turkey is an independent, sovereign, and democratic country that believes in the rule of law.”
“Those who do not speak up against Israeli terror cannot say anything about our struggle for rights,” he added.