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Erdogan says Israel more barbaric than Hitler

Saturday - 7/19/2014, 3:30pm  ET

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center in third row, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, front center, with Turkish artists who joined them in a show of support for the Palestinian people, in Istanbul, Turkey, late Friday, July 18, 2014. Abbas said Friday Palestinians should accept the Egyptian initiative. “Our Egyptian brothers were engaged in an initiative upon our request. The main aim of the initiative was to secure an immediate cease fire and to later begin negotiations." (AP Photo/Kayhan Ozer, Turkish Prime Minister's Press Office, HO)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Israel of "barbarism that surpasses Hitler" during its ground invasion of Gaza.

Erdogan made the comment during a campaign speech Saturday in the Black Sea port city of Ordu. He is running for the presidency in elections next month.

He has been speaking out strongly against Israel during its offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza, which has killed more than 300 Palestinians. He accuses Israel of using disproportionate force and has said the operation there has derailed efforts to normalize Turkish-Israeli ties. Those soured after Israel's 2010 raid on an aid ship which killed eight Turks and a Turkish-American.

Hundreds have also staged protests in recent days outside Israeli diplomatic mission in Ankara and Istanbul.

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