Gaza residents would be happy to see Erdoğan: Gaza Mayor
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Palestinians travel on a fishing boat at the seaport of Gaza City March 22. Following Israel's apology over the Mavi Marmara raid, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that he planned to visit Gaza 'this month or the next month'. REUTERS photoThe Israeli media report claiming a Palestinian official called on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan not to visit Gaza in the upcoming days is “probably distorted and does not represent the views of the Palestinian people,” according to Gaza Mayor Refik Mekki.
Mekki dismissed any opposition to Erdoğan’s planned Gaza visit. “Palestine not only belongs to Palestinians but to the entire Muslim world. These statements do not reflect the joy of the people [regarding Erdoğan’s visit]. I believe that the prime minister’s visit will be met with joy in all of Palestine. I believe these statements are distorted and do not represent the people.”
Reports surfaced earlier today in Israeli daily Jerusalem Post stating that an unidentified Palestinian official opposed Erdoğan’s visit, claiming it would cause polarization in Gaza.
Mekki said the Palestinian and Turkish people were “nations united,” adding that he was a “Palestinian citizen” who suffers “the same troubles on my street, at my house, in my city.”
“Not much has changed so far after the Israeli apology but we are expecting changes in the upcoming days,” Mekki said. “We see the apology as a victory not just for Turkey but for the people of Palestine. We see that we were not stranded, that we had a brother backing us.”
“The Middle East now is in an important process,” he added. “People will not be able to do whatever they wish now; there is a government that can stop them. Israel will not be able to do as it wishes anymore.”