Erdoğan demands Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Monitoring Desk
ISTANBUL (Turkey): Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, addressing organisation of Islamic cooperation (OIC) extraordinary summit, said, “I call on all countries to recognize Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of the State of Palestine.”

In relation to the United States (US) decision on Al-Quds, he said, “Enduring peace and stability cannot be achieved at a regional and global scale unless a fair and sustainable resolution is found to the Palestinian issue. Steps that violate the law and wound the conscience also dynamite the trust in the international system and the united nations (UN). We cannot remain silent to a situation that concerns all of us.”

Erdoğan reminded, “We have came together to discuss the violation against the historical and legal status of Al-Quds, where Al-Aqsa Mosque - the first kiblah of Islam and one of the three mosques of Muslims - is located in.

Thanking the participants for accepting his invitation and attending the meeting, which is of historic importance for Muslims as well as for the entire humanity, he recalled the decision of the US president - whom they had rather expected to lead the peace initiative for Palestine - to recognize Al-Quds as the capital of Israel in violation of the international law.

“Anyone walking the streets of Al-Quds understands that the city is under occupation,” Erdoğan underlined. Further stressing that such a decision about a city which is already under occupation can have no validity, he noted that no country is allowed to hold an embassy in Al-Quds according to UN security council resolution No. 478 dated 1980.

Pointing out that the unlawful decision taken by the US is supported only by Israel, which is keeping Al-Quds under occupation, Erdoğan thanked all the countries which did not accept this illegitimate decision, and said, “This firm stance about Al-Quds has been confirmed in all the talks I have held so far, including with the Pope. The Islamic countries, as well, have categorically rejected the US decision on Al-Quds in the clearest manner and from the very beginning.”

Recalling that on the same day as the US announced its decision in question, he, as the OIC summit chair, made a call on the world public opinion declaring this decision to be null and void before conscience, law, ethics and history, he said, “This decision, before all else, means the punishing of the Palestinians, who have displayed a stance in favour of peace not violence and who have for many times proved to be the side that wants peace.”

Demonstrating how the Palestinian territories have been occupied from 1947 onwards with the help of a map projected onto the screen, Erdoğan stated, “Unfortunately, Palestine has now been reduced to whatever Israel was in 1947. Even the wolf cannot carry out such a partition in its fight with the lamb. Such a partition, however, has been made here.”

Underscoring that Israel is both a state of occupation and terror, he recalled the photos that feature 10-year-old Palestinian children being detained and piled into iron cages by Israeli soldiers, a 14-year-old child being blindfolded and sustaining violence, and a little girl being beaten with the butt of a gun and forcefully taken away from her mother. Erdoğan remarked, “What is this if not an occupier or if not terrorist? Is it possible to justify this? Those who have humanity, who have conscience must draw the necessary lessons from these incidents.”

He, addressing US president Donald Trump, asked, “What else shall we say to you?” and continued, “With this decision, Israel - which is the perpetrator of the crimes of occupation, blockade, illegal settlements, demolitions, forced displacement, usurpation of territory and estate, disproportionate violence, and homicide - has almost been rewarded for all the acts of terror it has committed. It is Trump, even if on his own, who has given this award. Nothing can be achieved in this world through fait accompli. You may take such a decision on your own; yet, the world is not only composed of you. The UN has 196 member States and I am of the belief that these 196 countries will stand against this decision. As the US, you may be a powerful country. You may possess weapons. You may be a country in possession of 16 nuclear warheads. You may own large quantities of weapons, planes, etc. However, all this doesn’t make you strong. You are strong only if you are right. You can never be strong unless you are right.”

Erdoğan stated that the US siding with those who render peace unachievable rather than with those who want peace, has played into the hands of all fanatics at a time when there is an intensive fight ongoing against terror, and that it has shown this in Syria, too.

Noting that US president Trump has taken Turkish terrorist organisations PYD-YPG on his side and provided four thousand truckloads of weapons, armoured vehicles and ammunition to terrorist organisations, He emphasised that a terrorist organisation cannot be defeated by means of another terrorist organization.

“The fuse ignited with the Al-Quds decision has paved the way for threats against all humanity along with against the US and Israel,” Erdoğan stated, and emphasised that other problems in the region can by no means make Muslims and humanity forget the Palestinian issue.

He continued, “Enduring peace and stability cannot be achieved at a regional and global scale unless a fair and sustainable resolution is found to the Palestinian issue. Steps that violate the law and wound the conscience also dynamite the trust in the international system and the UN. We cannot remain silent to a situation that concerns all of us.”

“US decision on Al-Quds not only violates the international law, but also is a heavy blow struck on our civilization,” Erdoğan underlined, and stated, “Our ancestors served this sacred city diligently so as to meet all its needs, and ensured the welfare, security, and freedom of worship of its residents without any discrimination. Our civilization’s perspective towards Al-Quds is best reflected by the fact that the saying ‘La Ilaha Illallah, Ibrahim Khalilullah’ had been inscribed on Bab al-Khalil, constructed in the walls of Al-Quds by the Ottoman State during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. The wooden stairway in the balcony of the church in Al-Quds which bears great importance for Christians remaining as it is for 162 years because of the delicate sectarian balances tells us a lot about the city. Those who today make decisions disregarding the sanctity of Al-Quds, which Hazrat Omar had entered with great humility and taken over as a sacred relic, must learn a lot from this city. I thank the Pope, who respects the importance of Al-Quds for all faiths, sensible Jews who strive for a just peace, the Copts, and anyone who maintains their firm stance despite being affronted. And I particularly thank my Palestinian brothers and sisters, who have never given up their struggle for and served and protected Al-Quds, which they see as their honour, for centuries.”

Emphasising that peace in the region and Al-Quds can only be achieved with the struggle of ethical, honest and fair people from every background, race and faith, he said, “I call on all countries that uphold the international law and justice to recognize Al-Quds as the occupied capital of the State of Palestine.”

Stressing that they, as Islamic countries, will never give up their demand for a sovereign and independent State of Palestine with Al-Quds as its capital, Erdoğan said he condemns the oppression Israeli soldiers inflict on the Palestinians who protest the US decision on Al-Quds and that he remember with grace all the martyrs of the cause of Palestine.

Recalling that last week marked the centenary of the end of Islamic rule over Al-Quds, he said, “Muslims’ duty is to defend Al-Quds under any condition and circumstance. We especially ask our brothers and sisters from our country and from all across the world to go to Al-Quds and visit Haram al-Sharif at any opportunity they get. That is so because while praying in there, you will also be calling for peace and compassion and will be begging for humanity’s salvation.”

“I would like to once again underscore from here that Al-Quds is our red line. Haram al-Sharif, with a surface area of 144,000 m2 covering Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, will belong to Muslims until eternity,” Erdoğan stressed, adding that they, in cooperation with King Abdullah II of Jordan, the protector of this site, will maintain their firm stance against the intensifying attacks by settlers which incrementally turn into a racist campaign targeting Haram al-Sharif.

Further stressing that it a must for Palestinians to solve issues among themselves and to act in unity in the face of challenges, Erdoğan, quoting Saladin, the conqueror of Jerusalem, made the following advice for Muslims, “Those who fight with their friends cannot beat their enemies.”

He continued, “Those who have not recognized the State of Palestine so far should now take this important step so as to ensure a balance that will keep reason and justice alive in the region. Europe, in particular, must stop being a slave to the discourse ‘Do not recognise the State of Palestine because recognising it will prevent peace’ while, on the other hand, Israel keeps expanding its settlements. There can be no reasonable grounds for not recognizing the side which wants peace and agrees to the 1967 borders - which is actually almost one-fifth of the historical lands of Palestine -, while on the other hand the state, which maintains the occupation, is recognised. After this decision by the US there is no other way to let the basis for peace continue existing. Israel cannot be allowed to stall the world in a bid to seize more of Palestinian lands that it keeps under occupation. It is unacceptable to turn a blind eye to the fact that Israel, which supports a two-state resolution in name only, is in practice further eliminating the likelihood of such a resolution by every day. Being impartial between the occupying and the occupied means giving support to oppression. For this reason, at least, the process of Palestine joining international organizations and institutions should be accelerated.”

Highlighting the need for a stronger determination by Islamic states in order for the State of Palestine to be fully represented in the diplomatic arena, Erdoğan said, “We want anyone, who has a conscience and feels responsible for future generations, to mobilize all their moral and material means and resources for Al-Quds.”

In the capacity of the OIC summit chair, he called on the US to backtrack on the extremely wrong, provocative, and unlawful step it has taken, and added, “We expect the whole international community to assume responsibility for global peace and stability in place of the US which has disqualified itself from the peace process and fully lost its mediating role with the step it has taken.”