Recep Tayyip Erdogan the leader of Turkey, expressed his regret over the fall of Ottoman Empire lands during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Istanbul, saying they were "as much a part of us as our blood, our life, and our love."
The Ottoman Empire once included Gaza, which is currently under siege by Israeli forces seeking retribution for Hamas' deadly incursion into their nation. Journalist Abdullah Bozkurt tweeted that Erdogan "was equating cities in Greece, Macedonia, Syria, Iraq, & Palestine to Turkish cities, claiming they were forcibly taken away from Turkish homeland."
Bozkurt provided a link to a film in which Erdogan described Aleppo, Mosul, Skopje, and Thessaloniki as former "inseparable parts of the homeland's territory" in addition to Gaza.
Erdogan added, "They took us away from all these places that are as much a part of who we are as our blood, our life, and our love."
Erdogan continued, "We have come to this magnificent gathering to support our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Gaza, and we must leave with a determination to never allow new Gazas to emerge again."