Turkey could break off ties with Israel over Jerusalem: Erdogan

Published: December 5, 2017
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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters during a meeting of his ruling AK Party in Kars, Turkey, December 2, 2017.
Photo via REUTERS

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters during a meeting of his ruling AK Party in Kars, Turkey, December 2, 2017. Photo via REUTERS

ANKARA: President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Turkey could go as far as breaking off diplomatic ties with Israel if the United States formally recognises Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, a move he said would be a “red line” for Muslims.

US officials have said Trump is likely to give a speech on Wednesday unilaterally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a step that would break with decades of US policy and could fuel violence in the Middle East. Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.

‘Kiss of death’ to two-state solution if Jerusalem declared Israel capital: PLO envoy

It later annexed it, declaring the whole of the city as its capital, a move not recognised internationally. Palestinians want Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. “I am saddened by the reports that the US is getting ready to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Erdogan said.

“Mr. Trump, Jerusalem is the red line of Muslims. It is a violation of international law to take a decision supporting Israel while Palestinian society’s wounds are still bleeding,” he told a parliamentary meeting of his ruling AK Party. “…this can go as far as severing Turkey’s ties with Israel. I am warning the United States not to take such a step which will deepen the problems in the region.”

Trump delays Jerusalem verdict as pressure mounts

Israeli government spokesmen had no immediate reaction, but Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a senior partner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government, brushed off Erdogan’s comments. “There will always be those who criticize, but at the end of the day it is better to have a united Jerusalem than Erdogan’s sympathy,” he said.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • ZEN
    Dec 5, 2017 - 11:38PM

    Turkey has ties with Israel?Recommend

  • jehangir rajkhan
    Dec 6, 2017 - 3:54AM

    The more interesting and poignant question is what will Saudi Arabia’s stance be on this ? If they do nothing or respond in some lame way as they might well do given their latest cozying up to Israel over Iran, this would just confirm what many suspect whom the Saudi ruling family really are.Recommend

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