Turkish PM Accuses Netanyahu of Terrorism, Says Israeli 'Provocations' Radicalizing Muslim World

Middle East peace and eradication of extremist forces would be impossible without the establishment a Palestinian state, Ahmet Davutoglu says.

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Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during an interview with Reuters in Istanbul, January 16, 2015.Credit: Reuters

REUTERS - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday of terrorism and said Israeli "provocations" such as the bombardment of Gaza were contributing to radicalization in the Muslim world.

In a Reuters interview, Davutoglu said peace in the Middle East and the eradication of extremist groups would be virtually impossible without the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"[Netanyahu] himself killed, his army killed children in the playground. They killed our citizens and an American citizen in international waters. This is terrorism. Nobody can argue about Israeli aggression in Jerusalem in the al-Aqsa mosque," Davutoglu said.

"These provocations create frustration in the Muslim world and are becoming one of the reasons why these radical trends are emerging," he said.

"If we want to establish peace and order in the Middle East, eliminating all the extremist forces, we have to solve the Palestinian question."

Davutoglu on Thursday compared Netanyahu to the Islamist militants who carried out attacks last week in Paris, saying both had committed crimes against humanity.

In the interview in Istanbul, he said Turkey would continue to do everything it could to stop foreign fighters crossing to and from Syria, describing the conflict in its southern neighbor as a major national security threat.

But he said the solution did not lie in fighting Islamic State militants alone and called for an internationally policed no-fly zone to protect the city of Aleppo from President Bashar Assad's forces.

"The source of the problem is the Assad regime's brutality ... [We want a] no-fly zone ... so that Aleppo will be protected at least against the air bombardment and there will be no new refugees coming to Turkey," he said.

Turkey may widen a series of militarized zones along its border with Syria to try to stop the passage of foreign fighters without closing the frontier completely to Syrian refugees, he said.

"On the border, up to now, there are refugee camps, there are certain places where there is much more strict control ... These military zones might be enlarged," Davutoglu said, adding that Turkey had so far been reluctant to do this so as not to deter refugees.

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