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Ankara - Erdogan: Turkey Could Break Off Ties With Israel Over Jerusalem

Published on: December 5, 2017 09:21 AM
By: Reuters 
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People wave Turkish and Palestinian flags during a protest against Israel, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 30, 2017. REUTERS/Murad SezerPeople wave Turkish and Palestinian flags during a protest against Israel, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 30, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

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

U.S. 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 U.S. policy and could fuel violence in the Middle East.

Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war. It later annexed it, declaring the whole of the city as its capital, a move not recognized internationally. Palestinians want Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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“I am saddened by the reports that the U.S. is getting ready to recognize 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.”

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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 Dec 05, 2017 at 12:34 PM Anonymous Says:

So if the US makes a unilateral decision to move its embassy to Yerushalayim, Turkey will break off ties with - Israel?

Only a vicious anti-Semite like Erdogan would come up with logic like that.

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