Turkish president condemns Israel’s ‘intervention’ at Al-Aqsa Mosque
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a conversation with his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over the phone on April 17 and said he condemned the actions of Israel against worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
“During our call, I told Mr. Abbas that I strongly condemn Israel’s interventions against the worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that we would stand up to provocations and threats to its status and spirit,” Erdoğan tweeted.
“While bitterly observing Ramadan in light of the events unfolding in Palestine, especially in Jerusalem, I wish Allah’s mercy on our brothers and sisters who lost their lives in Israel’s attacks and for the recovery of those who were injured,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey is always on Palestine’s side, Erdoğan said, emphasizing that the recent incidents remind the fact that all Palestinian groups must work collaboratively to achieve unity and reconciliation.
“I also expressed my gratitude to Mr. Abbas for his prudent leadership in achieving unity and his calls for moderation,” the president added.
In a phone conversation with Guterres, they addressed regional developments, particularly the incidents in Jerusalem and the Ukraine-Russia war, Erdoğan also said.
The president said he emphasized that Turkey considers the incidents that occurred as a result of “Israel’s interventions and provocations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque to be unacceptable” and strongly condemns these incidents.
Additionally, they addressed potential collaborative efforts to establish regional peace, Erdoğan stated.
“I told Mr. Guterres that everyone should support the Istanbul Process on Ukraine and that those efforts to resolve the disagreements between the parties would be complementary to Turkey’s peace initiatives,” he said.
Ankara earlier had initiated on international platforms, including the U.N. and Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to take action against Israel over its acts against Palestinians.
Turkey and Israel are in the process of normalization of ties with expectations that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will pay a visit to Israel in the coming weeks.
However, Ankara emphasizes that it will not abandon support for the Palestinian cause during the normalization process with Israel.
Palestinians clashed with Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem on April 15 as thousands gathered for prayers during the holy month of Ramadan. Medics said more than 150 Palestinians were wounded in the most serious violence at the site in nearly a year.
The holy site, which is sacred to Jews and Muslims, has often been the epicenter of Israeli-Palestinian unrest, and tensions were already heightened amid a recent wave of violence.
The clashes come at a particularly sensitive time. Ramadan this year coincides with Passover, a major weeklong Jewish holiday beginning Friday at sundown, and Christian holy week, which culminates on Easter Sunday. The holidays are expected to bring tens of thousands of faithful into Jerusalem’s Old City, home to major sites sacred to all three religions.