We won’t allow call for morning prayers to be silenced in Jerusalem: Turkey’s Erdoğan
AA photoTurkey will not allow call for morning prayers to be silenced in Jerusalem, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said May 8 amid a heated row over a potential ban of the call to prayer by the Israeli parliament.
“A draft bill, which aims to ban call for morning prayers in mosques [in Jerusalem], is still waiting in the Israeli parliament. The fact that such an issue is even coming to the agenda is shameful. The fact that those who talk about freedom of thought and faith at every opportunity actually approve this step by remaining silent is noteworthy. Inshallah, we will not allow the silencing of prayers from the heavens of Jerusalem,” Erdoğan said at the opening ceremony of the International Forum on al-Quds Waqf in Istanbul.
“Why are you afraid of the freedom of faith if you believe in your faith? I am now reminding Israeli administrators: If you believe in your faith, then why are you afraid of the sound of our prayers?” he added.
One of the bills would ban a summons to worship via loudspeakers between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. That would effectively mute one of the five daily calls emanating from mosques. The second proposal would bar amplification in residential areas at all hours and impose a 10,000-shekel ($2,700) fine for any violation, according to the draft.
The president also criticized the latest discussions about the U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem, saying that “it is extremely wrong and should definitely be dropped from the agenda.”
“We made the necessary warnings on this issue at the highest level and we are continuing to do so,” Erdoğan said, calling it “not such an easy thing to do.”
He also noted it was impossible to maintain peace and stability without finding a fair solution to the Palestine issue.
According to Erdoğan, the only path to a solution is the establishment of a free Palestine state with its capital in East Jerusalem within the area’s 1967 borders.
Erdoğan also said he welcomed recent developments on the peace process, calling steps outlined in Hamas’ political document an important step.