Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed off the stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, red-faced from verbally sparring with President Shimon Peres over the recent fighting in Gaza.
Erdogan was angry after being cut off by a panel moderator after listening to an impassioned monologue by Peres defending Israel's recent 22-day offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Erdogan told Peres: "You are killing people."
Please note that no translation is provided for Erdogan's comments in the clip below.
A finger-pointing Peres told Erdogan at Thursday's panel that he would have done the same if rockets had been hitting Istanbul.
The Turkish prime minister asked the moderator, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, to let him speak once more.
"Only a minute," Ignatius replied.
Erdogan said in Turkish that, "I remember two former prime ministers in your country who said they felt very happy when they were able to enter Palestine on tanks."
"I find it very sad that people applaud what you said. There have been many people killed. And I think that it is very wrong and it is not humanitarian," he said.
Ignatius said, "We can't start the debate again. We just don't have time."
Erdogan said, "Please let me finish." Ignatius responded: "We really do need to get people to dinner."
The Turkish premier then said, "Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. I don't think I will come back to Davos after this."
The confrontation saw Peres and Erdogan raise their voice shouting - highly unusual at the elite gathering of corporate and world leaders, which is usually marked by learned consensus seeking and polite dialogue. It showed how emotions remain frayed over Israel's offensive against Hamas that ended less than two weeks ago.
The packed audience at the Erdogan and Peres session, which included President Obama's close adviser Valerie Jarrett, appeared stunned.
Afterward, forum founder Klaus Schwab huddled with Erdogan in a corner of the Congress Center. A press conference with both men was scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
"I have know Shimon Peres for many years and I also know Erdogan. I have never seen Shimon Peres so passionate as he was today. I think he felt Israel was being attacked by so many in the international community. He felt isolated," said former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik.
"I was very sad that Erdogan left. This was an expression of how difficult this situation is."
Amr Moussa, the former Egyptian foreign minister who now leads the Arab League, said Erdogan's action was understandable. "Mr. Erdogan said what he wanted to say and then he left. That's all. He was right." Of Israel, he said, "They don't listen."
Erdogan brushed past reporters outside the hall. His wife appeared upset. "All Peres said was a lie. It was unacceptable," she said, eyes glistening.
The clip below shows the entire discussion at Davos.
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