NATO ally encouraged to ‘liberate’ Jerusalem
Turkish and Palestinian flags fluttered like angry birds in a crowd of thousands of people chanting “Allahu Akbar!” and “Down with Israel!”
The chants grew more exuberant as the hulking, bearded man on the speaker’s platform assured them that “God willing, we will liberate Jerusalem together.”
The speaker was Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and his audience was Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, gathered for its annual meeting Dec. 27 at a convention hall in Konya, the hometown of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
The Turkish prime minister introduced the Hamas leader and then took a seat in the front row, cheering and clapping for the radical Islamist statements being made by Meshaal.
“As Turkey for centuries was the main defender of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, likewise with you are the center of the Muslim Umma (Muslim nation) which will carry on the mission of liberating Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque,” Meshaal told the crowd in an address that received almost no major media coverage. “Know this, that strong Turkey is the strength of Palestine and of Jerusalem. Turkey is the strength that represents all Muslims.”