Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Pope Francis on Thursday that Israel’s attacks on Gaza had “no place in any holy text”, and that they had reached “the level of massacre”, Turkey’s public broadcaster TRT Haber reported.
Erdoğan said the international community was silent on the “tragedy of humanity” and that the silence was “embarrassing”.
The Turkish president also called for support in efforts to deliver humanitarian and medical aid to the besieged strip.
Pope Francis expressed “his pain for what is happening”, and hope for a two-state solution, according to a Vatican spokesman.
The head of the Catholic Church had repeated calls for the release of Israeli hostages and entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza in an address to the public on Wednesday.
The phone call between Erdoğan and the Pope came after Erdoğan’s earlier comments calling Hamas “not a terrorist organisation but a group of mujahideen who are trying to liberate their lands”, which led to a steep fall in Borsa Istanbul, Turkey’s sole exchange entity.
A major selloff following Erdoğan’s comments triggered circuit breakers at the stock exchange twice in the span of an hour on Wednesday. The BIST 100 index fell as much as 7 percent.