Iranians hail Turkish PM for Davos spat

February 1st, 2009 - 12:38 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Jan 31 (IANS) Iranians have hailed Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Teyyeb Erdogan for his heated exchange with Israeli President Shimon Peres over the Gaza Strip at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the official IRNA news agency reported Saturday.A group of university and school students gathered Saturday in front of the Turkish embassy in Tehran to express their appreciation for Erdogan’s reaction at Davos discussion Thursday.

The students chanted slogans in support of Erdogan and carried banners praising his strong opposition to Peres’s remarks.

Erdogan stormed out of a Davos debate over the Gaza Strip, angrily charging that he had not given enough time to speak.

Peres had spoken at length, defending the Israeli offensive and placing the blame for the bloodshed on Hamas, while Erdogan condemned Israel’s “disproportionate use of force” in its three-week offensive and called for including Hamas, the Islamic movement ruling the enclave, in the political process.

The incident was praised highly by Hamas and Iranian leaders. Erdogan was also given a hero’s welcome upon return from Davos.

Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani hailed the Turkish leader for his outburst and said during a Friday prayer in Tehran that “this attitude exploded in the world like a bomb”.

“We thank Erdogan and hail what he did in Davos,” Rafsanjani said, adddig, “We also thank the Turkish people who staged such a glorious welcoming ceremony on his return home.”

Rafsanjani, who currently acts as head of the Experts Assembly - the country’s highest clerical body, also blamed other leaders of Muslim countries for not having acted like Erdogan and not sufficiently helping the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

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