Turkey announces three days of mourning following Gaza Hospital strike

Turkey will declare three days’ mourning over a deadly strike on a hospital in war-torn Gaza that killed hundreds, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

Erdogan, a fervent supporter of the Palestinian cause, has accused Israel of “striking a hospital sheltering women, children and innocent civilians” and urged the world to stop the tragedy in Gaza.

Israel and Palestinian militants have accused each other of the attack.

“Out of respect for the thousands of martyrs, most of whom are children and innocent civilians, three days of national mourning have been declared in our country”, said Erdogan in a message on X, formerly Twitter. “We, Turkey, feel in our hearts the deep pain felt by our Palestinian brothers.”

Ozlem Zengin of Erdogan’s ruling AKP party said that the national mourning would be declared under a presidential decree.

“It is important to show at what level we perceive this issue,” she was quoted as saying by the private NTV broadcaster.

Erdogan on Tuesday condemned the strike as “the latest example of Israeli attacks devoid of the most basic human values”, in a message on social media.

AKP party spokesman Omer Celik said Turkey’s declaration of three days’ mourning would a show of solidarity with the innocent Palestinians in Gaza.

“We share the same pain, the same sorrow,” he told reporters at a weekly press conference. He accused Israel of the strike on the hospital, he said.

Large crowds joined demonstrations in Istanbul and the Turkish capital Ankara late Tuesday, shouting pro-Palestinian chants.

Israel has told its citizens to leave Turkey “as soon as possible” amid fears of reprisal attacks.

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