Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan displayed a rigorous hope that Turkey would be able to open an embassy in East Jerusalem very soon.
He again trounced U.S. President Donald J. Trump for his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Turkish leader said Turkey wants to open an embassy to an independent Palestinian State.
Last week, President Erdogan marshaled efforts for a unified response from the Islamic world and helped forge an accord at the end of an Islamic summit in Istanbul to give a status to East Jerusalem.
A communique called for recognition of East Jerusalem as the occupied capital of Palestinian State and urged the world to do so as such.
East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel after it seized control of the area in the 1967 war, in a move never recognized by the international community.
“Because it is under occupation we can’t just go there and open an embassy,” Mr. Erdogan said in a speech to his ruling party in the city of Karaman.
“But, inshallah (God willing) those days are near and… we will officially open our embassy there,” he said, without giving any precise timescale.
Turkey currently has a general consulate in Jerusalem. Ankara has full diplomatic ties with Israel, and like all other nations, its embassy is in Tel Aviv.
Mr. Erdogan said the U.S. decision smacked of a “Zionist and evangelist logic and understanding.”
He said Jews had no right to “appropriate” Jerusalem which was the “capital of Muslims.”
“Please stop where you are and don’t attempt any Zionist operation,” he said. “If you try, then the price is going to be high.”
Mr. Erdogan hailed the outcome of the December 13 summit which he said showed the “world a vote of unity.”
However, the meeting was shadowed by the level of attendance from close US allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who sent lower-level officials rather than leaders.
In a speech on the eve of the summit, Erdogan had warned Muslims against “internecine warfare” and “attacks to bring down Muslims from within” saying fighting with each other “only helps terror states like Israel.”
Israel has reacted relatively cooly to Erdogan’s repeated broadsides over the last days, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “not impressed” by statements made at the summit.