Reactions are continuing regarding the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Speaking at Esenboğa Airport in Ankara before his departure to Athens, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital had set the region ablaze.
“Taking such a step throws particularly this region into a ring of fire. What would you like to do [with this step], Mr. Trump? What kind of stance is it?” he said.
Political leaders should work to bring peace, not stir things up, he added.
Calling Jerusalem “also a sanctuary for Christians,” Erdogan added that he would speak to Pope Francis about Trump’s decision this evening or on Friday.
All four parties in the Turkish parliament also signed a joint statement late Wednesday, declaring Turkey’s resolve to reject the United States’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) signed the statement, which emphasized “The absolute and unquestionable resolve of Turkish parliament to reject this dangerous attempt [the US’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital] is hereby declared.”
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım called the U.S. declaration as ‘null and void’ for Turkey, in a written statement Thursday.
“The U.S. President’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the steps related to it are null and void for Turkey,” he said, adding that the decision is a heavy blow to Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts and the Middle East peace process.
“Pandora’s box was opened in the region with the decision.”
He also added that the decision, which will root out the peace in Palestine and the Middle East and is an example of total irresponsibility taken with political concerns.
“I strongly condemn those who took this decision. As always, the status of all the holy places of Jerusalem, especially the Masjid al-Aqsa, is respected and it has a vital importance not to present a fait accompli.”
Yıldırım also stated that the necessary counter steps will be decided along with the leaders of the Islamic world after discussing the issue with all dimensions, during a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said that the US President had put a bomb in the middle of Jerusalem and that he was doomed to be left alone.
Slamming U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv, he said the party will stand alongside “our Palestinian brothers.”
“We will support our Palestinian brothers in their just cause. Trump hurt everyone who stands for peace,” he said.
“He is doomed to be left alone in the whole world. If he is trying to cover up the problems at home with this decision, he will be mistaken,” Kılıçdaroğlu concluded.