The Turkish president compared Israel’s policies to South Africa’s Apartheid system.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Muslims around the world to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to protect the site’s Islamic identity. The Turkish leader also took the opportunity to heap scorn on Israel, likening the country’s policies to South Africa’s Apartheid era.
Speaking in Istanbul at a charity conference discussing Palestinian economic development, Erdogan lashed out at Israel regarding its settlement plans in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
“We, as Muslims, should be visiting Al-Quds more often,” Erdogan said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem. “Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us.”
As many as 26,000 Turks visited the Temple Mount, or Noble Sanctuary, in 2016. However, Erdogan emphasised “hundreds of thousands” should be visiting the site, which is considered holy by Muslims. “[It] would be the greatest support to our brothers there,” he said.
“Al-Quds is holy for all three divine religions. It is the heart and summary of all human history.
“Both in terms of our religion and historical responsibility, Al-Quds and the fight of our Palestinian brothers for rights and justice is of great importance to us. We will keep making efforts for Quds to turn into a city of peace.”
“Here is the only solution. The establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of 1967,” said Erdogan, according to Anadolu.
The harsh words are notable as the two countries only recently reestablished diplomatic and ambassadorial ties.
Erdogan’s speech attracted a stinging response from Israel, who said the leader has no rights to preach morality. “Whoever systematically violates human rights in his country should not preach morality to the only true democracy in the region.
Full article: Erdogan calls on Muslims to flood Jerusalem’s iconic mosque and protect its Islamic identity (International Business Times)