Turkey slams Israeli minister's remarks on Al-Aqsa
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkish Foreign Ministry on Aug. 15 rejected the remarks made by Gilad Erdan, Israel's public security minister, to change the historical status quo of the Al-Aqsa mosque.
"We utterly reject the statements of the Israeli Minister of Public Security regarding changing the status quo in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is an indication of a distorted mindset," the foreign ministry statement said.
"It is clear that any insinuation and initiative to prejudice the historical and legal status of Jerusalem will further exacerbate the tension in the region," the statement said.
"In fact, during the Eid al-Adha, many Palestinians were wounded as a result of the intervention by the Israeli police inside the Haram al-Sharif, while trying to prevent provocative raids by some extremist Jewish groups against the Al-Aqsa Mosque," it added.
The statement said that the Israeli authorities should be urged to put an end to their illegal practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, avoid irresponsible actions and statements that will increase tensions in the region.
Gilad Erdan told Israeli Radio on Tuesday: “I think there is an injustice in the status quo that has existed since 1967.”
“We need to work to change [the status quo] so in the future Jews, with the help of God, can pray at the Temple Mount,” he added.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community, Israel annexed the entire city, claiming it as the self-proclaimed Jewish state's “eternal and undivided” capital.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina. Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Turkey condemns Kosovo envoy's Facebook post
In a separate move, Turkey's embassy in Skopje on Aug. 15. condemned an anti-Turkish Facebook post by Kosovo's ambassador to North Macedonia.
In a written statement, the embassy said it strongly condemned Gjergj Dedaj's “unfounded claims” and “hostile discourse” targeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“This latest post shows the correctness of our decision not to meet with Kosovo's Ambassador Dedaj, who has once again made statements against our country and who is unaware of the responsibility of his title,” the statement said.
“No to political monuments of Erdogan's Turkey!” Dedaj wrote on Facebook, referring to a monument in the July 15 Democracy Park in Albania's capital of Tirana built by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in cooperation with the Tirana Municipality to commemorate the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.
Turkey survived a deadly coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 251 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.