Turkey has announced a three-day period of national mourning to express solidarity with the Palestinians who have lost their lives in the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the announcement on Wednesday, stating that Turkey feels the immense suffering of their Palestinian brothers and sisters. The Turkish media reported that nearly 3,800 Palestinians have lost their lives in the current outbreak of violence in Gaza, with two-thirds of the casualties being women and children, according to a statement by the Gaza Health Ministry.
In a statement on his Twitter account, President Erdogan said, “As a sign of respect for the thousands of martyrs, many of whom are innocent civilians and children, our country has declared a three-day period of national mourning.” The mourning period, which started immediately, will last until sunset on October 21. During this time, Turkish flags at national institutions and diplomatic missions abroad will be lowered to half-mast.
President Erdogan emphasized that the mourning period is a manifestation of Turkey’s solidarity with the Palestinians in the face of Israeli attacks on Gaza. He mentioned the recent attack on a hospital on October 17 as an example of Israel’s aggression. According to reports from Turkish media outlets, President Erdogan strongly condemned the attack and called on the international community to take action to stop what he described as Israel’s unprecedented brutality in Gaza. He characterized the attack as devoid of fundamental human values.
The strike on the hospital, which occurred on Tuesday, resulted in the deaths of around 500 people, according to Gaza health officials. Numerous Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and Jordan, have accused the Israeli military of bombing the health facility. Ankara also placed the blame on West Jerusalem and condemned the attack. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), however, vehemently denied responsibility and claimed that the strike was a result of a failed rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group. The United States supported Israel’s stance and also blamed the Palestinian militants.
The international community has responded to the hospital blast by calling for action. Both Russia and the United Arab Emirates have requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the incident at the hospital. Russia has additionally demanded a thorough and impartial investigation into the matter to hold those responsible accountable.
Turkey’s declaration of a national mourning period reflects its solidarity with the Palestinians and its condemnation of the ongoing violence in Gaza. The Turkish government, under President Erdogan’s leadership, seeks to raise awareness of the suffering endured by the Palestinians and calls for immediate action to stop the bloodshed. The international community’s response to the hospital attack demonstrates the urgency and gravity of the situation, with countries demanding accountability and justice for the innocent lives lost. As the mourning period continues, Turkey stands in solidarity with the Palestinians and reiterates its commitment to finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict.