Turkey the loudest voice against Israel’s actions: PM Davutoğlu
The Muslim holy site of the Dome of the Rock on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City is seen through barbed wire on Nov. 10. AFP PhotoNothing will keep Turkey from "protecting Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has stated, while reiterating his warnings to Israel to avoid any new "attack" on holy sites.
“From here, I once more call on Israel and Israel’s brutal rulers: Don’t you dare considering resuming these attacks against al-Quds [Jerusalem] and the al-Aqsa Mosque, regarding ... internal turmoil and tension in the Islamic world as an opportunity. Even if everyone remains silent, the government of the Republic of Turkey will not keep silent,” Davutoğlu said on Nov. 11.
His words were the latest warning publicly expressed by Turkey to Israel since last week, following tension over Israeli-controlled access to Jerusalem’s holiest site, revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, where the al-Aqsa Mosque stands, and by Jews as the mount where Biblical temples once stood.
The prime minister expressed pride over Turkey’s strong objection to what is occurring in the Holy Land, arguing that “the loudest voice against the Israeli soldiers who tarnished the al-Aqsa Mosque” belonged to Turkey.
Heavy clashes raged at the mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City as Israeli police faced off with Palestinian stone-throwers last week, prompting Jordan to recall its ambassador in protest. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Nov. 11 that Israel’s actions were leading the region toward a devastating religious war, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported.
In Ankara, addressing his ruling Justice and Development’s Party (AKP) deputies at a weekly meeting, Davutoğlu recalled that Turkey launched initiatives at the U.N. Security Council soon after the attack in Jerusalem and added that all diplomatic missions of Turkey around the world had been on alert and were contacting host countries to raise awareness over the graveness of the matter.
The president of the Prime Ministry’s Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) immediately traveled to Jerusalem and was working on how to repair the damage there, Davutoğlu said.
‘CHP’s Alevi report reflects AKP efforts’
Davutoğlu also used the occasion to criticize the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for "failing to grasp the spirit of the Alevi faith," unlike his ruling AKP.
“First of all, the CHP felt the need to launch an Alevi package a day before my visit. I am not sure whether it would have done so if my visit was not on the agenda,” Davutoğlu said, referring to his visit to Hacıbektaş over the weekend.
Earlier, he had said he wanted to spend the Day of Ashura with Alevi citizens in the town of Hacıbektaş in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir to commemorate the martyrs of Karbala. Hacıbektaş is a popular pilgrimage site for both Alevi and Bektaşi people in Turkey.
“Pay attention, that package refers to workshops held during AK Parti rule. The Alevi issue and the problems of our Alevi people had never been discussed openly until our rule,” Davutoğlu said, suggesting that the CHP was not offering anything constructive as their demands were limited to the removal of customary religion courses and the documentation of the removal of religious identity from identity cards.
CHP Deputy Chair Sezgin Tanrıkulu said on Nov. 9 that their proposal was merely to offer optional religious courses instead of compulsory religious courses, not to remove them entirely.