Turkey’s president has ignited a war of words with Israel after claiming that the spirit of Adolf Hitler has re-emerged in the country.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks come after the Israeli Knesset passed a law stipulating that only Jews have the right of self-determination, angering members of the country’s Arab minority.
The approval of the nation-state law shows Israel is the most “Zionist, fascist and racist” country in the world, Mr Erdogan said.
He added that the law legitimised unlawful actions and oppression against Arab minorities, and he accused Israel of trying to form “an apartheid state”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by saying Turkey is becoming a “dark dictatorship” under Mr Erdogan’s leadership.
Mr Erdogan also called on the international community to mobilise against Israel in one of his harshest onslaughts against the country.
In a speech to AK Party lawmakers, he said: “The Jewish nation-state law passed in the Israeli parliament shows this country’s real intentions. It legitimises all unlawful actions and oppression.”
He said Israel had shown itself to be a “terror state” by attacking Palestinians with tanks and artillery, adding: “There is no difference between Hitler’s Aryan race obsession and Israel’s mentality.
“The spirit of Hitler, which led the world to a great catastrophe, has found its resurgence among some of Israel’s leaders.”
Mr Netanyahu accused the Turkish president of “massacring Syrians and Kurds” in response, adding that Mr Erdogan’s administration had “imprisoned tens of thousands of citizens”.
He said in a statement: “Turkey under Erdogan is becoming a dark dictatorship, while Israel is meticulously maintaining equal rights for all its citizens, before and after the law.”
Israel’s new legislation makes Hebrew the national language of the country – defining the establishment of Jewish communities as being in the national interest.
Arabic was granted only special status after being previously considered an official language.