President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stepped up his criticism of Israel on Friday for a raid on one of Islam’s holiest sites, calling it “barbarism” that can never be forgiven. “Israel must stop this sordid act, this barbarism. This act against al-Aqsa Mosque is unforgivable,” Erdoğan said during a visit to Turkmenistan.
Israeli police clashed with Palestinians on Wednesday at the entrance to the eighth-century al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-most sacred place, sparking anger in the Muslim world. Palestinian officials said Israeli forces had crossed the threshold of the mosque for the first time since 1967.
Speaking earlier in the day during a visit to the northwestern province of Bursa, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also slammed the Israeli incursion into the al-Aqsa Mosque and vowed to respond to Israel’s actions on the international stage.
Referring to the World War I-era Greek invasion of Bursa, Davutoğlu said: “During the occupation years, the [Greek] forces went into the Osman Gazi tomb with their boots on, and today, barbarians [Israelis] are trying to enter al-Aqsa Mosque with their boots on. The same way the people of Bursa did not allow those occupying forces to enter then, the people of Palestine, [all] Muslims and humankind will not let them [Israeli forces] enter.” The Osman Gazi tomb in Bursa is the burial place of Osman Gazi, the founder of the Ottoman Empire.
Davutoğlu said he had contacted Palestinian leaders and that Turkey was ready to do whatever is needed at international platforms — including, notably, the UN — for the protection of al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Jerusalem was entrusted to us by Omar bin al-Khattab [the second caliph of Islam], [Ottoman Sultan] Yavuz Sultan Selim and [Ottoman Sultan] Suleiman the Magnificent,” said Davutoğlu… see more