Turkey’s flagship carrier Turkish Airlines has started offering a discount in round trips from Istanbul to Jerusalem following a social media campaign initiated by citizens.
Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Ekşi stated in a tweet on Aug. 9 that a round trip from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Asian side to Jerusalem agencies would be priced at $159 at contracted.
The move came after citizens launched a social media campaign demanding a discount for flights to Jerusalem using the hashtag “#ThyKudüseİndirimYap” (Turkish Airlines make a discount to Jerusalem).
Anger had spilled across the West Bank since Israel
shut East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque following a deadly shootout July 14. The site is venerated by Muslims and Jews, who call it the Temple Mount.
The mosque was reopened after two days, with Israel
installing metal detectors and cameras at its gates.
Three Palestinians were killed in protests against the measures around the holy site. Three Israelis were also killed in an attack in a settlement in the West Bank.
Israel refused to remove the detectors, claiming the security measures were similar to procedures taken at other holy sites around the world.
But facing international criticism and pressure, Israel's security Cabinet decided to remove the metal detectors. A statement released after the meeting said a new surveillance system using "smart checks" based on advanced technology would be put in place.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
had also called on all Muslims to visit the al-Aqsa Mosque complex if they had the opportunity, in a move to show solidarity after recent tension.
Jerusalem is sacred Muslims, Jews and Christians -- and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the Islamic world's third holiest site behind the cities of Mecca and Medina.