Events in region foreshadow Gaza war escalating into broader maelstrom, warns Turkish foreign minister


Türkiye has said many times that there can be no lasting peace without equal security, sovereignty for Palestinians, says Hakan Fidan

Current events in the Middle East point to the three-month-old Gaza war widening into something broader, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Tuesday.

"It should not be misleading to see that what happened in the Red Sea, Syria, and Iraq foreshadows that the spiral of war in Gaza will gradually turn into a bigger maelstrom," Fidan told a joint press conference with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlic-Radman in the capital Ankara.

Türkiye has said on relevant platforms that there can be no lasting peace in the region without equal security and sovereignty for the Palestinians, Fidan added.

"I reiterate once again that the inhumane massacre by Israel must be immediately halted, and the illegal blockade imposed on Gaza must be lifted."

Before the eyes of the international community, more than 24,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, said Fidan.

Certain countries did not hesitate to escalate the current situation into a war, he said, adding that with intensive efforts from Türkiye and other allies, significant progress has been made in creating a language of peace.

Türkiye will make every effort, both politically and legally, to ensure that Israel faces the necessary consequences for the massacres it has committed in the international community, he added.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Hamas which Tel Aviv says killed 1,200 people.

At least 24,285 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and 61,154 injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

According to the UN, 85% of the population of Gaza is already internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure is damaged or destroyed.

On Türkiye's fight against terrorism, Fidan said: "Our country, which decisively combats terrorism, expects the international community, especially our allies, to demonstrate the same sensitivity and determination."

Turkish-Croatian ties

Türkiye considers Croatia, with the historical and cultural ties between the two, as a friendly country that prioritizes cooperation in enhancing peace, stability, and prosperity in the Balkans, Fidan stressed.

Political relations with Croatia are at a very good level," he said.

In terms of economic and trade relations, Fidan said that the goal of achieving a $1 billion trade volume was met in both 2022 and 2023.

He highlighted the current target of $2 billion in trade, underscoring the need for effective use of institutional mechanisms, especially the countries’ Joint Economic Commission.

Fidan voiced satisfaction with Turkish companies’ rising interest in Croatia, particularly in sectors such as tourism, construction, transportation, banking, and renewable energy, where significant investments are present.

Highlighting the direct impact of developments in the Balkans on Türkiye and Croatia, Fidan stressed that the preservation of peace and stability in the region, coupled with increased prosperity, is in the interest of both countries.

"As you know, we consistently emphasize our support for the peace, stability, and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina on every occasion," he said, adding: “We are greatly pleased to observe the same commitment from Croatia.”

Fidan also stressed the need for continued high-level contacts for peace and stability in the region.

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