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Turkish PM Lashes Out At Israeli President During Gaza Debate,Walks Off Stage.

Raw video : Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan walked off the stage on Thursday at the World Economic Forum after a panel moderator interrupted his speech over his criticism to Israeli President Shimon Peres on Gaza.

Turkish PM Translation :

Erdogan said 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," he said in Turkish.

"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." :

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of an angry debate on the Gaza war with Israel's President Shimon Peres at the Davos forum on Thursday.

"I do not think I will be coming back to Davos after this because you do not let me speak," the Islamist-rooted prime minister shouted before marching off the stage in front of Peres, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and an elite audience of ministers and international officials at the World Economic Forum.

Erdogan criticised the audience for applauding Peres's emotional defence of Israel's war in Gaza, before the moderator, Washington Post journalist David Ignatius, insisted that the debate had gone overtime.

Erdogan said Israel had carried out "barbarian" actions in Gaza. "I find it very sad that people applaud what you have said because many people have been killed," shouted Erdogan before he left.

There was more applause when he left the stage.

Peres, a veteran Israeli statesman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his efforts to reconcile with Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organisation, had told the audience that Israel had been forced into the offensive against Hamas by thousands of rockets and mortars fired into Israel.

"The tragedy of Gaza is not Israel, it is Hamas," said Peres. "They created a dictatorship. A very dangerous one."

Ban, Erdogan, Arab League secretary general Amr Mussa and Peres had all been sitting alongside each other for the debate. All gave long impassioned statements on the conflict which left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead and widespread destruction in Gaza.

The UN secretary general had called on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza, again condemned the Israeli bombing of a UN base in the territory, and called for Hamas to end its violence for renewed Arab efforts to bring together divided Palestinian groups.

Ban earlier made an appeal for more than 600 million dollars to buy food, water and other emergency supplies for Gaza after the conflict.

Mussa, who also strongly attacked Israel, said after the debate that Erdogan should have been given more time as "people are very emotional" when discussing the Middle East.

Erdogan has sought a peacekeeping role in the Middle East conflict, trying to mediate between Israel and Syria just before the Gaza war, which he has repeatedly criticised.

"I am a leader in this world who says that anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity. I said this the very first day I became prime minister and before that as well," Erdogan said defending himself against criticism made in Israel on comments he has made.

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Added: Jan-29-2009 Occurred On: Jan-29-2009
By: barnesy
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Tags: Turkish PM Lashes Out At Israeli President, Walks Off Stage
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