Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a political meeting in Ankara on 17 November 2017
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Tuesday that Jerusalem’s status was „a red line“ for Muslims, citing a possible diplomatic break with Israel if Washington were to recognize the holy city as its capital.
„Mr. Trump, Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims,“ Erdogan told his American counterpart.
„We are going to fight this fight to the end with determination, and that could go as far as the rupture of our diplomatic relations with Israel,“ he added during a speech to the parliamentary group of the Islamic-conservative party. in power, the AKP.
„As the current Chair of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), we will follow this issue to the end, and if we make this decision, we will meet in 5 or 10 days with a summit of the leaders of the Organization. OCI in Istanbul (…) We will set the whole Muslim world in motion at this summit, „he said.
View of Jerusalem on December 1, 2017
Turkey had already warned Monday against a recognition by Washington of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying that such a measure would cause „a great catastrophe“.
The White House has announced that the much-awaited decision by Trump on this issue has been postponed even though it was due to come on Monday.
„The president has been clear on this matter from the outset: it is not a question of if (the embassy will actually be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Ed), it is a question of when,“ said Hogan Gidley, a spokesman for the White House.
Israel views the Holy City as its „eternal and reunited“ capital, but Palestinians believe that East Jerusalem must be the capital of the state to which they aspire.
The international community has never recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, nor the annexation of its occupied eastern part in 1967.
In a Sunday telephone interview with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, Erdogan insisted on the need for the creation of an independent Palestinian state „with East Jerusalem as its capital“.
A staunch defender of the Palestinians, the Turkish president normalized his country’s relations with Israel in 2016 after a crisis triggered in 2010 by a deadly Israeli raid on a ship chartered by a Turkish humanitarian NGO to try to break the Israeli blockade of the Strip. from Gaza.
In spite of this normalization, Turkey regularly criticizes Israeli policy towards the Palestinians and raises the voice particularly when violence occurs around the esplanade of the Mosques in Jerusalem, third place holy of Islam.