Turkey slams 'occupation' of Jerusalem

09.05.2017

On Monday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared Israeli policies towards Palestinians as equivalent to the racist measures implemented under the apartheid system in South Africa. He also cautioned the United States not to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Such a move is "extremely wrong" and such talk should be abandoned, Erdogan said at an event in Istanbul focused on Jerusalem.

"What's the difference between the present acts of the Israeli administration and the racist and discriminatory politics that were practised against black people in the past in America and up until a short time ago in South Africa," Erdogan said.

US President Donald Trump – who is set to meet with Erdogan this month in Washington and will also visit Israel – had promised the embassy move during his campaign.

Trump met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last week. Erdogan, a conservative Islamic politician, also criticised Israel over a bill that is working its way through the Knesset, parliament, which would place restrictions on the Islamic call to prayer. 

Israel and Turkey mutually posted ambassadors last year after more than six years of strife stemming from an Israeli naval raid on an aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip that left 10 Turkish citizens dead.

Erdogan has compared Israeli acts in the Gaza Strip to those of Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany.    (dpa)

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