Alerts continue to flow for President of the United States (US) Donald Trump who will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, affirms the status of Jerusalem as a ‘red line’ for all Muslims.
On Wednesday (6/12/2017), Erdogan also warned that Turkey could have severed ties with Israel if the United States unilaterally recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved its embassy there.
“I feel saddened by the reports that the United States is preparing to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Erdogan said in a statement at a parliamentary meeting.
“Mr. Trump, Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims, it is a violation of international law to take a decision in favor of Israel while the wounds of the Palestinian people are still bleeding,” Erdogan added.
“… this could lead to the severance of relations between Turkey and Israel, I warned the United States not to take steps that would deepen the problems in the region,” he said.
Erdogan added that if Trump unilaterally recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, then he will ask for an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit in the next 5-10 days. Turkey currently holds the rotating leadership of the OIC.
“We will move the whole Islamic world,” he said.
Last year, Turkey and Israel ended a dispute triggered by Israel’s deadly attack on a ship that sailed into Gaza carrying Turkish humanitarian activists. At least 10 Turkish activists were killed in the attack. Turkey’s diplomatic relations with Israel have worsened. In recent times, the two countries again boosted cooperation, particularly in the energy sector.
There has been no official response from the Israeli government regarding Erdogan’s remarks about the potential for termination of the relationship. But Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a senior partner of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government coalition, dismissed the comments.
“There will always be those who criticize, but ultimately, it’s better to have a unified Jerusalem than Erdogan’s sympathy,” he said.