Use of phrase “anti-Semitism” should not be employed to cover up Israel’s ethnic, religious and cultural cleansing policies in Palestine, Turkish Foreign Ministry says.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds a press conference after the cabinet meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on May 17, 2021.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds a press conference after the cabinet meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on May 17, 2021. (AA)

Turkey's Foreign Ministry has completely rejected the US Department of State's statement accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of anti-Semitism.

In a statement, the ministry called on the US administration to make efforts to stop Israel's incessant attacks on Palestinian civilians, instead of levelling false accusations against the Turkish leader.

The use of "anti-Semitism" phrase should not be employed to cover up Israel's ethnic, religious and cultural cleansing policies, the statement noted.

The US Department of State in a statement on Tuesday condemned what it called President Erdogan’s "recent anti-Semitic comments regarding the Jewish people”.

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'Absolutely unacceptable'

"The US statement about our President Erdogan's remarks on the Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians is absolutely unacceptable," Turkey's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun tweeted.

Altun slammed the charge of anti-Semitism targeting the president as "appalling".

"It is a cowardly statement to divert the international attention away from Israel's crimes against humanity," he commented.

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'Terrorist state'

Erdogan on Monday criticised Israel for attacks on civilians in Gaza and the Al Aqsa Mosque. He also criticised the US arms sale to Israel.

Accusing Israel of being a "terrorist state" and violating Jerusalem, he also said it was "ruthlessly" bombing civilians in Gaza.

Erdogan said that those supporting Israeli actions in Jerusalem and Gaza would go down in history as being complicit in child murder and crimes against humanity.

READ MORE: US approves $735M weapon sale to Israel as missiles bombard Gaza

Over 200 Palestinians killed

At least 219 Palestinians have been killed, including 63 children and 36 women, and 1,530 others injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since May 10, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Recent tensions that started in occupied East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers in the flashpoint Al Aqsa Mosque compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognised by the international community.

READ MORE: Israeli attacks 'deprive you of sleep and steal your appetite'

READ MORE: Palestine calls for aid as UN fails to break silence over Israeli attacks

Source: TRTWorld and agencies