President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday that Turkey will make efforts to rebuild damaged infrastructure, hospitals and schools in Gaza if a ceasefire is declared there, state broadcaster TRT reported.
“If there is a ceasefire, we will do everything necessary to compensate for the destruction caused by Israel,” Erdoğan told reporters on his return trip from Berlin, where he had talks with German leaders.
“We will attempt to rebuild the damaged infrastructure in Gaza and restore the destroyed schools, hospitals and water and energy facilities,” he said.
Erdoğan has been increasingly critical of Israel’s war in Gaza, triggered by the Hamas attack that Israel said killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, with around 240 hostages taken.
The death toll in Gaza has reached 11,500, mostly civilians and including thousands of children, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.
Erdoğan is criticized by many for promoting growth driven by the construction sector. Some confidants and previous corruption investigations have revealed that he receives bribes when awarding important government contracts to his cronies. Observers say this is an incentive for his behavior to promote the construction sector at all costs, as large companies depend on government contracts and thus on Erdoğan.