Turkey’s Erdoğan: Israel is a terrorist state, Trump’s decision is null and void

Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday continued to criticize US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying Israel is a terrorist state and that Trump’s decision is null and void for Turkey, the state-run TRT reported.

“We will show that the decision [of Trump] is not so easily put into practice. Trump’s statement is null and void for us,” Erdoğan said during a Justice and Development Party (AKP) congress in Sivas.

“Israel is a terror state, terror. Look how these terrorists dragged a blindfolded 14-year-old boy [by the arms],” Erdoğan said, adding: “Quds [Jerusalem] is the light of our eyes. We will not leave it to the mercy of a child killer state.”

Recalling that he had been engaging in telephone diplomacy with world leaders since Tuesday, Erdoğan said: “As current chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), we will summon the leaders of Muslim countries to an emergency summit in Istanbul on Wednesday.”

“We explained to all our interlocutors that the United States’ decision does not comply with international law, diplomacy or humanity,” Erdoğan said at the meeting in Sivas, referring to phone calls he made to leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron and the pope, Reuters reported.

Erdoğan also said he would evaluate the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Turkey on Monday.

Turkish Foreign Ministry has also condemned Israel’s “use of disproportionate force” on Palestinians protesting the US President’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Saturday. The Foreign Ministry stated that Turkey was concerned about Palestinian casualties sustained during the protests.

“We are deeply saddened and worried about the loss of four lives and the injuries of hundreds of Palestinians. This is the result of the intervention of Israeli forces against Palestinians protesting in the occupied territories following the [US] announcement on Jerusalem, which contradicts international law and all related UN decisions,” the statement said.

“We strongly condemn the use of disproportionate force by Israel,” it added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he would not accept any lectures from Erdoğan after the Turkish leader accused Israel of being a terrorist state over the weekend, Reuters reported.

“Mr. Erdoğan has attacked Israel. I‘m not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villages in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, helps Iran go around international sanctions and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people,” Netanyahu said at a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

İbrahim Kalın, spekoperson of Erdoğan, condemned Netanyahu’s remarks.

Meanwhile, thousands of people flocked to İstanbul’s Yenikapı Square on Sunday, protesting the US move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestinian ambassador to Ankara Faed Mustafa was among the protestors.

Speaking at the rally, Mustafa said that “The peace can never be prevailed without independence of Palestine and Palestine cannot be an independent state without Jerusalem as its capital.” He went on to say Jerusalem was not the capital of Israel. “It is sacred land on the earth. Israel occupied it forcibly.

The rally titled ‘Jerusalem Belongs to Islam’ organised by political Islamist Felicity (Saadet) Party. Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions (Hak-İş), radical Islamist Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH), pro-government Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions (Memur-Sen), Erdoğanist Turkish Youth and Education Service Foundation (TÜRGEV), pro-government Association of Anatolian Businessmen (ASKON), Islamist Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD), the Alumni Association of Imam Hatip High Schools (ÖNDER) and Deniz Feneri relief association and other non-governmental organizations participated in the rally.

Waving flags of Turkey and Palestine, the demonstrators chanted slogans such as “Hail to HAMAS, carry on resistance” and “Thousand greetings from İstanbul to Gaza resistance.”

On Dec. 6, US President Trump announced the US’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital and said the US Embassy would relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem policy triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and other Muslim-majority countries.

However, bilateral trade between Turkey and Israel is not vulnerable to diplomatic rows, with cement and iron remain at the top of Turkey’s exports to Israel, Turkey-based pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency reported .

After Israeli military’s Gaza flotilla raid in May 2010 that killed nine Turkish activists, Turkey’s exports to Israel seen a steady increase, the agency wrote. According to the latest Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) figures, Israel ranks 9th with $3 billion volume in 2016.

Iron, cement and steel makes nearly 30 per cent of Turkey’s exports to Israel, Mezopotamya wrote, saying these materials are used for building the barrier that surrounds the occupied West Bank. The agency said a new section of the wall is to be built in the Silwan neighbourhood in Jerusalem. The International Court of Justice declared the barrier violates international law in a 2004 advisory opinion. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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