Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan calls on Muslims to protect the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an unprecedented declaration, called on hundreds of thousands of Muslims from all over the world to go to the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is situated on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, to show solidarity with the Palestinians and protect the site’s Muslim character, which the Turkish leader claimed was in jeopardy due to Israel’s attempts to so-called ‘Judaize the ancient sanctuary’. President Erdogan further condemned Israel for a bill that limits the volume of loudspeakers on mosques during the daily Muslim call to prayer. The harsh rebuke the Turkish leader levelled toward Israel came just hours before a meeting Prime Minister Erdogan held with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Istanbul, where the two reportedly discussed ways to “unifying efforts to protect Jerusalem against attempts of Judaization.”
During their meeting,
Erdogan also declared that “it is impossible to find a solution to regional peace without finding a just solution for the Palestinian cause first, in which the only solution would be “To establishing a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and exert pressure on Israel to comply to international demands.” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emanuel Nahshon told TV7 in response to the statements by the Turkish leader that “Whoever systematically violates human rights in their own country should not preach morality to the only true democracy in the region.” Nahshon further stated that “Israel consistently protects total freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians – and will continue to do so despite the baseless smears launched against it.”
In an attempt to alleviate the situation, officials in Jerusalem conveyed a message to Ankara saying that they had no interest in a diplomatic crisis. A political official in Jerusalem said that Israel had sent Turkey a message stating that they considered the affair to be over and had no intention of turning the remarks that President Erdogan made last night into a crisis between Jerusalem and Ankara. Nevertheless, not all officials agreed with the attempts to calm the situation, as Minister Miri Regev of the ruling Likud party called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to “put Erdogan in his place,” as she put it. Regev stressed that Israel must explain to the entire world what’s really happening in the Jewish state, and to uphold the honor of Israel and its citizens, and certainly that of Jerusalem.