As the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement rages on in the Gaza Strip, Turkish first lady Emine Erdoğan told Newsweek in an exclusive interview that her country is leading efforts to provide humanitarian aid in the besieged territory and demand a cease-fire to the deadliest-ever flare-up in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A lifelong social activist prior to and during her marriage to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was reelected in May to extend his 20-year rule over one of the most powerful and influential nations in the Middle East, Emine Erdoğan has become personally invested in Gaza’s growing humanitarian crisis. Last week, she led the United for Peace in Palestine Summit in Istanbul in a bid to shore up international solidarity and cooperation over the issue.

Now, she outlines to Newsweek why Turkey, officially called Türkiye, is pushing for greater pressure against Israel, which has denied any violations of international law in its campaign against Hamas in the wake of the group’s unprecedented October 7 surprise attack, and why she believes that nations across the globe, including fellow NATO ally the United States, need to step up.

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