East Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital: Erdoğan

East Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital: Erdoğan

LONDON – Anadolu Agency
East Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital: Erdoğan

East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine despite all steps taken to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said May 13.

Erdoğan’s remarks came during a dinner organized by the TURKEN Foundation in London.

Speaking of the U.S. administration’s decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem, a move expected to come on May 14, Erdoğan said 128 countries voted clearly against this decision at the U.N. general assembly.

He said only a few countries had to vote with the U.S. as they were told to do so in various phone calls in return of financial aids.

“Jerusalem, above all, east Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. As the Islamic world, we accept it as it is,” Erdoğan said.

Refugee crisis

Erdoğan said “the refugee crisis made make up running down from the faces of some countries, which from time to time dare to give us human rights lessons, and showed their real faces.”

“While Turkey was coming out of one of the hardest humanitarian tests of the last 25 years, most of the Western countries, who are the apostles of democracy, have failed to pass [this test],” Erdoğan added.

Underlining that nearly 13 million Syrians, including 3.5 million residing in Turkey, had to flee their homes to take refuge in other countries, Erdoğan said those who have sought salvation in European countries had to face a scene they never imagined.

UK solidarity

The Turkish president also praised the activities of TURKEN Foundation and pointed out that the foundation helped Turkey improve cooperation with NGOs and Muslim communities in the U.K.

“We once more saw how valuable those relationships established by our foundation were, especially following the July 15 betrayal [coup attempt in 2016]. On those critical days when Turkey’s real friends and false ones separated and masks fell, our brothers in the U.K. were in full solidarity with us,” he said.

Erdoğan said British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson expressed their solidarity in phone calls following the coup attempt by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). He reminded that Alan Duncan, Britain’s minister for Europe and Americas, was the first high-level Western politician who visited only 5 days after the coup attempt.

“I believe the Turkey-U.K. relations will get even stronger following this visit of ours,” Erdoğan added.

The dinner was also attended by the Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Ömer Çelik, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın, Anadolu Agency Director General Şenol Kazancı and TRT Director General İbrahim Eren.

Many community leaders from the U.K.’s Muslim NGOs, groups and society were present at the dinner.

Erdoğan also met Premiere League footballers Cenk Tosun, İlkay Gündoğan and Mesut Özil during the event.

Besiktaş football team’s legendary coach Gordon Milne was among many guests of the dinner.

Erdoğan earlier on May 13 attended the closing session of the 7th Tatlı Dil Forum in Reading city. He will continue his U.K. visit on May 14 with a Chatham House address and a meeting with British investors.

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