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Erdogan under fire for wishing martyrdom on crying 6-year-old girl

Erdogan under fire for wishing martyrdom on crying 6-year-old girl

Turkey has been attacking the Kurds in northern Syria for the past several weeks, despite American calls for restraint and complaints that the fighting distracts from the campaign to defeat ISIS.

The incident has already been criticized by the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) that opposes Ankara's operation in the Afrin region.

The controversial episode happened as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was addressing a provincial congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the southern province of Gaziantep on Saturday. "We should develop joint projects", the president said.

"She has a Turkish flag in her pocket too. Look, we have our own maroon berets", Erdogan said as she crossed the stage.

Ilham Aliyev congratulated President Erdogan on his birthday, and wished him success in his activity for the prosperity of Turkey.

Mr Erdogan earlier this month said troops would also move east to Manbij - where unlike Afrin there is a U.S. military presence.

"If she becomes a martyr, God willing, she will be wrapped with it".

Turkey has a longstanding culture of nationalist militarism, with popular slogans such as "Every Turk born a soldier". Is Turkey our friend or our enemy?

One observers was appalled by Erdogan's statement, saying it was the duty of the state to protect children, not to "kill" them.

The mainstream press, which has been increasingly under the thumb of the government, did not focus on the girl's tears. Other news agencies reported that Mr. Erdogan had consoled the girl as she cried.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is under fire for comments he made to a little girl during a rally in Kahramanmaras over the weekend. Her lips trembling, she stood ramrod-straight as she gave a military-style salute.

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