Ankara says Trump’s Middle East plan ‘attempt to steal Palestinian land’
Protesters gather to protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed Middle East peace plan, near the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, Jan. 29, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)
Turkey dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan on Jan. 28 in what it said was an attempt to steal Palestinian lands and kill off prospects of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
“This plan is an annexation plan that is aimed at killing the two-state solution and stealing Palestinian lands,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, describing Trump’s proposals as “stillborn.”
Underlining that Jerusalem is a “red line” for Turkey, the ministry also said that the country will not let Israel “justify its occupation and persecution.”
Turkey will not support any plan that is not accepted by Palestinian authorities, the statement underlined.
Peace in the Middle East will not be achieved unless policies based on “occupation” ends, it stressed.
Turkish officials and statesmen have reacted strongly towards the Trump peace plan, saying it is only a means to officially permit Israel’s occupation into Palestinian lands.
Many people from around the world have also slammed the plan, dubbing it as the “Balfour Declaration of the 21st century.” The Balfour Declaration of 1917 gave the green light for Jewish immigration in Palestine as Britain overtly voiced support for the establishment of a Jewish state in the area.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) also criticized the peace plan, as party spokesperson Ömer Çelik said it is “an announcement of occupation.”
“[The plan] promises an abstract state to Palestine; where its borders and capital will be is not clear. Israeli settlers suddenly became residents when they were occupiers. But it is also written that Palestinian refugees can never turn back to their countries,” Çelik said on Jan. 29 during a press conference in the capital Ankara.
“This is not a peace plan; it is a plan of occupation. The whole world is watching how Israel is being shaped into a racist state,” he said.
AKP Deputy Chairman Numan Kurtulmuş also slammed the plan, saying, “No, Trump! Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state and the heart of the Islamic world!” on Twitter.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said Israel’s “occupant policies” must end for peace and security in the region. He also urged the international community to object to the plan.
“Turkey will continue to stand by Palestine in its rightful cause,” he said in a tweet.
Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun called for the cessation of foreign intervention in the region. He also criticized supporting Gulf countries for their approach.
“Jerusalem does not belong to Israel and it is not up to the third parties to offer it to anyone!” Altun said in a tweet.