Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Erdogan: Jewish Control of Palestine, An Insult To Islam
Erdogan calls on Muslims to flood
Jerusalem's iconic mosque and protect
its Islamic identity
The Turkish president compared Israel's policies to South Africa's
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.
"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."
Erdogan also said that permanent peace in the region would only be possible
with a "fair solution to the Palestinian issue".
"What's the difference between the present acts of the Israeli administration and
the racist and discriminatory politics that were practiced against black people in
the past in America – and up until a short time ago in South Africa."
"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.
"Israel adheres strictly to full freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians –
and will continue to do so in spite of this baseless slander," noted a sharp statement
from Israel's foreign ministry.
Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that Israel had not originally planned to
respond to Erdogan's speech, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu changed his
mind after the remarks were widely reported by domestic and international media.