Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reiterated Turkey’s support for Palestine, saying that the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem is a red line for all Muslims.
“We will not allow the Palestinian lands to be offered to anyone else,” Erdoğan said in a video message on Twitter addressing the Muslims in the U.S. to mark Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
“I would like to reiterate that al-Quds Al-Sharif, the holy site of three religions and our first kiblah, is a red line for all Muslims worldwide,” Erdoğan said, referring to the al-Aqsa mosque, also known by Jews as the Temple Mount, and home to the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
“It is clear that the global order has long failed to produce justice, peace, serenity, and order. Last week we witnessed that a new occupation and annexation project, which disregards Palestine’s sovereignty and international law, was put into action by Israel,” he added.
Israel has said it will annex parts of the West Bank on July 1, as agreed to between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz.
The plan has sharp condemnation in Turkey.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there – as well as the planned annexation – illegal.
‘Syrian people continue to suffer’
Turning to the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Libya, Erdoğan said, “As everyone is focused on the pandemic, the oppressed Syrian people continue to suffer.”
On Libya, he said: “The putschist [Khalifa] Haftar forces continue to attack their own people and destabilize the country and the region.”
Turkey supports the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj based in Tripoli and deployed troops to the North African country after the two countries signed a series of deals.
The GNA has been under sustained attack for months from eastern-based renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), which is backed by Russia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
In addition to Turkish soldiers, Ankara also deployed Syrian rebels to the war-torn country.
“Blood and tears have, unfortunately, continued to be shed in the holy month of Ramadan as well across the Islamic world,” Erdoğan said.
“Our brothers and sisters living in Western countries suffer from new Islamophobic, racist attacks nearly every day,” he added.
Saying that the coronavirus pandemic has “called into question the utility and reliability of international organizations against global threats,” Erdoğan reiterated his call for redesigning the global system.
“We hereby reiterate our call for fairly redesigning the global system, which we describe as ‘The world is bigger than five,’” he said, citing his motto on reforms to the UN Security Council, a cause he had long championed.