Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), gave a 24-hour deadline to Israel to stop its airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, saying Turkey should take military action if no ceasefire is achieved within that timeframe, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The 24-hour deadline announced by Bahçeli, an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has already expired as he made his call on Saturday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Criticizing the international community for its silence on the Israeli attacks on Gaza, which have so far claimed the lives of more than 4,500 civilians, Bahçeli said,” If a ceasefire is not achieved within 24 hours and the [Israeli] attacks do not stop, Turkey should take quick action and take the necessary steps in line with its historical, humanitarian and religious obligations.”
Israel began pounding Gaza after Hamas militants carried out an unprecedented surprise attack in Israel on Oct. 7 that claimed more than 1,400 lives.
He said the Turkish nation should not remain silent about the deaths of innocent children in Gaza.
“To assume the duty of protecting and caring for Gaza is a legacy from our ancestors,” said Bahçeli.
Although Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause and condemns Israel for the civilian deaths in Gaza in its ongoing strikes, it has announced no plans to get militarily involved in the Israel-Hamas war.
The 24-hour deadline Bahçeli gave to Israel led to some jokes and ridicule on social media, especially after it expired, with many accusing him of “playing to the audience.” Some social media users said if Bahçeli were sincere about his call, then he should break his alliance with Erdoğan for not sending Turkish troops to Gaza.