ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's press aide on Wednesday lashed out at the US for claiming that the Turkish leader made "anti-Semitic" remarks in his criticism of Israeli strikes on Gaza.
The latest tensions could further sour the relationship between two NATO allies Turkey and the United States.
"The US statement about our President Erdogan's remarks on the Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians is absolutely unacceptable," Erdogan's press aide Fahrettin Altun tweeted.
The US State Department on Tuesday sharply criticised Erdogan for what it called "anti-Semitic" remarks, urging him and other Turkish leaders to refrain from incendiary comments, "which could incite further violence".
"The United States strongly condemns President Erdogan's recent anti-Semitic comments regarding the Jewish people and finds them reprehensible," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Erdogan has championed the Palestinian cause during his 18-year rule.
He has accused Israel of "terrorism" against the Palestinians.
Earlier this week he called them "murderers, to the point that they kill children".
Erdogan weighed in later Wednesday, defending his comments and vowing to "cry in the highest volume wherever we see cruelty".
"If a price is to be paid to... speak up for the innocent, we will never hesitate to pay it," he said in a televised speech.
Before the latest row, Erdogan had spent the past few months trying to mend relations with Washington and reaching out to other Western allies after a year of sharp disputes.
But he lashed out at US President Joe Biden for his diplomatic support for Israel and his reported approval of a new arms shipment to the Jewish state.
Erdogan has been waging a diplomatic campaign to impose sanctions and other punishments on Israel for a military offensive that has claimed the lives of at least 219 Palestinians in Gaza since May 10.
Qatari FM says his govt need to ensure everything is addressed very clearly or else it will not be able to take any...
US President Biden will meet leaders of Japan, India and Australia seeking to hammer out a joint strategy in...
"Climate change is an increasingly potent driver of migration," World Bank's report says
Some countries have started offering extra doses, causing WHO to call for a moratorium on third jabs
Taliban in a viral video claim to have seized 15 gold bricks, in addition to the dollar bills, from the residence of...
The police had abandoned their posts when the Taliban swept into Kabul last month, fearful of what the group would do